Pathways to success starts at school

Providing students many pathways to success continues to take on additional importance and significance in Sidney City Schools. This is both challenging and rewarding. We strive to teach our students the necessary skills to be successful in whatever endeavor they choose to follow-whether this is the world of work, military, or advanced degree beyond high school. In this article, I will highlight some of these various pathways our students can choose to undertake.

The Upper Valley Career Center (Upper Valley CC) in Piqua offers 25 career-technical programs on its main campus and additional satellite programs in its 14 associate schools, including Sidney High School. These pathways include such programs as Engineering and Science Technologies, Human Services, and Hospitality/Tourism. Students at Sidney High School who choose this pathway must have earned a minimum of seven credits and have completed two years of high school.

Taking an alternative pathway to a high school diploma has proven to be successful route for some students. The Opportunity School provides students a way to work and continue their schooling in the evening to earn credits towards their graduation, at their own pace. The Sidney Virtual Learning Network (VLN) is an online learning option for students in grades 6-12. A student in the Shelby County Online Learning Academy (SCOLA) may choose to blend a traditional classroom setting with an online virtual learning environment.

After a 50-year absence, Vocational Agriculture has been brought back to Sidney High School and will begin its third year of offering students a selection of courses in the agricultural and environmental systems. An emphasis in this UVCC satellite program is the food science component.

Many of our college-bound students opt to enroll in Advanced Placement (AP) courses, which are offered each year in our core academic classes. College Credit Plus (CCP) allows high school students to be enrolled in high school and college courses at the same time and earn dual credits upon each successful completion. It is possible for students choosing this pathway to actually graduate with a high school diploma and two years of college completed. Students can take these classes at Sidney High School, which offers 19 CCP courses, the most in the area.

One of the most popular offerings at Sidney High School just completed its first year in existence. The Workforce Academy/Career Education offers students a unique hands-on, real-world approach to learning. The state-of-the-art classroom is equipped with current technologies, with funding provided by Shelby County business leaders. These course offerings are designed to help students with the acquisition of skills, knowledge, and attitudes important in the global world-whether this be the world of work or continuing education. New for 2015-16 is a course sponsored by Ross Casting and Innovation (RCI) LLC. Workforce Tech Lab Academy is a semester class offered to 11th and 12th graders. This offering promises to be a new, challenging, educational experience for students. Students will learn advanced skills needed to be successful in college or the workplace.

The aforementioned examples are just part of the vast number of options or pathways students can select in Sidney City Schools. We are committed to providing every possible opportunity for students to experience success.

The writer is the Sidney City Schools superintendent.