Superintendent Barrow answers questions about new Center of Innovation
The new Center of Innovation (COI) set to open next week on the campus of Fayetteville Intermediate School in Fayetteville is a partnership between the Fayette County School System and Southern Crescent Technical College (SCTC). While it’s still a work in progress, Superintendent Joseph Barrow responded to a number of questions pertaining to the new offering for Fayette’s high school students.
Health science offerings along with culinary arts will be the focus as the program gets off the ground. Dual-enrollment courses in health science will include certified nursing assistant (CNA), emergency medical responder and sports medicine.
Barrow said SCTC is supplying certified teachers for four of the programs and the school system is providing two teachers for the other two programs.
A number of culinary arts classes will also be taught at Sandy Creek High School.
A diagram of the building shows a half-dozen classrooms for use in the allied health field and, for culinary arts, the use of the kitchen and one classroom. It was noted that Southern Crescent will provide culinary arts staff at Sandy Creek.
One of the questions dealt with the scheduling of classes at the COI and how that will interface with the high schools.
“The classes offered at the COI are included on each school’s course registration form,” said Barrow. “The registration process is the same as it is for any other class offering. Each of the classes being offered at the COI for the 2015-2016 school year are included in the CTAE (Career, Technical and Agricultural Education program that is included in the state academic and career pathway offerings).”
Another question dealt with student transportation, how it will be arranged and what accommodations will be made for those students without their own transportation.
“We are currently checking with our students who have registered for course(s) that will be offered at the COI,” Barrow said. “Since most of these courses are upper level classes and will be taken by juniors and seniors who have traditionally traveled to other dual-enrollment courses or internships, we do not anticipate large numbers of students who will need school-based transportation. Currently we have nine students who may need transportation and we have a tentative plan to accommodate those students. There is a parking plan for those students who plan to drive their own vehicle.”
Barrow was asked for the total number of school system teachers and personnel to be located at the COI. Teachers and personnel combined will total 10 at COI, Barrow said.
“There will be also be a few secretaries and system administrators (current employees) who will move their offices to the COI to provide technical support if needed,” said Barrow.
As for the number of SCTC staff expected to be stationed at high schools, Barrow said the current plan is to have one SCTC teacher located at SCHS teaching the culinary arts program.
Barrow’s response to additional questions will be covered in a subsequent article.
Fayette County Board of Education member Leonard Presberg shared his thoughts on the COI. Presberg in his comments noted the expectation that the initial partnership between the school system and SCTC will lead to others in the future.
“Our new programs in healthcare and culinary arts offer our students the opportunities to do real things, in a real environment, use real equipment, learn what it takes to get a certificate, and so many other skills,”Presberg said. “I can’t wait to see how our Centers work out and how we can continue to expand these programs — I can see Centers for engineering, fine arts, construction, or aviation. We know our students want and need these programs and it’s our responsibility to work together to ensure success.”