Advancing Access and Equality How do you work to advance access and equality in your school?

Over the course of the past four years we have worked hard at Caddo Hills School District to develop and maintain a rich and dynamic atmosphere where every learner is championed and valued within career and technical education. We have partnered with our school counselor, special education administrator, and community shareholders that would provide feedback and steering to ensure access and equality across the board.

The first step was to provide every student with high-quality foundation courses in the elementary and middle school levels to ensure that they had a grasp of career pathways available in our immediate and regional communities. Our school district is constrained by a national forest and due to the regulations we are very limited on the types of industry we have available in our immediate communities.  We have worked with regional employers to help ensure that not only are we preparing students for highly-skilled employment, but also entry level skills that will ensure students can maintain the job, not just get it locally and regionally. These partnerships produced quality conversations and ultimately administrative and student engaged policy that met the needs of learners and better prepared transitions from building to building and school to college or vocational training center.

One of the main components of our high school CTE programming is the integration of employability skills at all levels for all learners. It is our goal to give students real life lessons in responsibility, communication, teamwork, and satisfaction from a job well done. We currently offer two real world environments for students to gain this insight. 1) Natives Supply & Co. managed by students enrolled in the Marketing Research Technology program of study, work daily in satisfying customer needs and building upon while developing new revenue streams that helps fund a scholarship for students. One of the greatest features of this scholarship program is that traditional college pathways are not the only way to receive it. Students who wish to go through a vocational training program may also apply. 2) We are fortunate to maintain a nine head cattle farm on our campus. This past year we also introduced four hogs to the courses and developed a new Animal Science pathway that will lead to students having the ability to get their veterinarian assistant certification after program completion and testing.

Our programs have been featured regionally and internationally for these core values. We believe that student learning is a direct result of the environment and shared values of the community. We know that our students can succeed with the right resources and mindsets. We recently made national and international headlines when one student saved money for two years to purchase another student a motorized wheelchair. These students were recognized at our state capital by the Community of Champions and we couldn’t agree more that these seniors showcase of friendship is exactly what we are trying to do daily through not only CTE, but our core of education.

Our motto is “On a Warpath Towards Excellence” and we attempt to do that every day through academic planning, coaching, and steering towards pathways of success.  It is our goal to ensure that every student is provided with high-skill training for high-demand employment, while ensuring that access and equality are ever present. We are constantly monitoring and adjusting, because every learner deserves the best education available.