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Cornell School Board - Opportunities abound through transcripted courses

Opportunities abound through transcripted courses Opportunities abound through transcripted courses

Haily Duffy, Cornell senior, spoke to the board of education March 25, about the virtual building proposal she’s working on as part of her business management academy internship. Duffy put a presentation together, stating the options taxpayers have for what they want to see done with the high school building, which included a logo design and creating a survey to send out. Photo by Ginna Young

By Ginna Young

Cornell is about more than just going to classes each day and assigning homework. The district wants to ensure that each student reaches their full potential, so they can choose a career pathway that suits them.

That’s where the transcripted courses come in, taught by Cornell teachers, using Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) curriculum.

“A lot of students don’t think they can go to four-year colleges, but they can,” said Andrea Hakes, operations and career coordinator, at a school board meeting March 25.

Hakes feels a big part of that is because of the opportunities offered at Cornell. By taking CVTC courses in high school, that gives students a support system they might not get their freshman year of college. Students can reach out to her at any time and can also ask for help from their high school teachers.

“This year, I was lucky enough to have time on my schedule to meet one-on-one with students,” said Hakes.

As young as eighth grade, Hakes meets with the students to see what they want their future to look like and while many don’t know what they want to do yet, it’s a good time to start that conversation. Hakes assures them that can and probably will change their minds, and that it’s alright to do so.

The partnership with CVTC and Cornell started in 2015, with three seniors taking individual classes. Flash forward to 2016-17, and there were 10 seniors in a room at Cornell, who only left to go to two transcripted classes. By 2017-18, CVTC had started academies.

“This is kind of a well-kept secret for Cornell,” said Hakes.

Cornell teachers instruct students in transcripted courses of math, social studies and agriculture, to name a few.

“Business is our biggest transcripted credit course,” said Hakes.

Just this year, students are able to take courses in transcripted credit, college transfer, EMT, fire medic, agronomy full program, residential construction full program, IT network specialist full program, welding full program, welding academy, landscaping full program, dental assistant full program, lab assistant full program, math classes and science courses.

Individual classes include horticulture, Microsoft Offi ce, personal finance, intro to criminal justice, accounting, marketing management, innovative business mindset; and business writing.

“It continues to grow,” said Hakes. ‘This year, because of all the options and full programs, our seniors will be graduating with a combined total of 1,024 college credits. And every single senior has some college credits.”

This spring, four students will finish CVTC with an associate’s degree in business management; two students with a technical diploma in residential construction; one with a technical diploma as a lab assistant; one with a technical diploma as a dental assistant; one with a technical diploma as a landscape, plant and turf technician; and one with an EMT certification.

“Some districts don’t do what we do,” said superintendent Paul Schley.

Because of the transcripted courses offered, Cornell is seeing students open enrolling in and it’s exciting to Hakes to be part of the process to show students how to excel in what they’re interested in.

“This is my favorite part of the job,” she said.

Senior Haily Duffy is one such example of the offerings through CVTC, as she attends the virtual business management academy, graduating this spring with an associate’s degree and 84 credits. As part of her academy internship, Duffy put together a new mission and vision statement, bringing it before the board for some tweaks.

Members were impressed with what Duffy created: The mission of Cornell School District is to empower students with growing pathways to success, allowing to create their own learning adventure.

Duffy felt the statement put emphasis that Cornell has on getting students ready for careers and shows that there isn’t just one way that’s accomplished.

“I felt that kind of represents it well,” she said.

She also came up with the vision statement: Inspiring academic freedom!

The board liked both the options Duffy presented – since the statements were overly long, complicated and out-of-date – and adopted the mission and vision language.

Schley felt Duffy embodied what the district offers, whether it’s through transcripted courses, online courses or work releases, which are all up to the student.

“We’re trying to give as much flexibility as we can,” said Schley.

Members also approved the resignation of art teacher Emily Johnson and the hire of assistant baseball coach Vincent Pischke.