Board Seeks Community Input on New Career Academy

Board of Trustees Seeks Community Input on New Career Academy Project
Career Academy Drawing

August 28, 2018 – The Amarillo ISD Board of Trustees wants to seek additional community comment and engagement as planning continues for the future use of the former Hastings facility. The District purchased the building located on Plains Boulevard in the fall of 2017.

A team of District leaders, referred to as the Hastings Project Team, has been working for the past five months on a plan for the use of the facility. The team has sought the input of at least 12 local entities to determine the current and future workforce needs in the local area. The team also researched the programming of career centers in 10 different school districts.

With this input, the team compiled a report which has been validated by the Chamber of Commerce, the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation, West Texas Enterprise Center and the Amarillo Technology Initiative group.

The report sets out a plan which provides a blueprint for the District and the use of the Hastings facility. The report envisions a career academy for high school students that would provide real-world instruction in at least seven career clusters. Some of the recommendations given to the AISD Board of Trustees in the report include:

1.) Combine AACAL programs and new STEM career programming together into one site to better serve students living in a world of technology that was not dreamed of when AACAL was founded.

2.) Develop the concept of Real World Instruction for Real World Learning - students learn best when they have to use (see, touch and experiment with) the content. 

3.) Technology must serve as a facilitator and producer of learning in each classroom.

4.) Find qualified teachers in specialized, high-demand STEM areas and implement training on Real World Instruction.

5.) Develop a K-12 pipeline for students in AISD to increase STEM interest and knowledge.

6.) Add new courses for students including Cybersecurity, Biomedical Engineering, Artificial Intelligence, Drone Technology, Digital Fine Arts, Automotive Technology, Machining Technology, Welding Technology, and HVAC Industrial Maintenance.

A series of public meetings will be set in the fall to engage the community in further discussion about plans for the facility.

Click here to read the committee's full report.

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