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GISH hosting Academy Parent Night on Wednesday, Oct. 24

As Grand Island Senior High students prepare to make their initial pathway selection, school leaders are inviting their families to attend an Academy Parent Night open house on Wednesday, Oct. 24, from 5 to 8 p.m. in the West Gym.

This event will be designed for parents and students to come find out more about the specific pathways students are considering and ask questions of the Academy principals, counselors and lead teachers.

“We want to help parents be informed so they can help students choose the right pathway to meet their individual needs,” said GIPS Chief Transformation Officer Dr. Josh McDowell. “The Academies of Grand Island Senior High are all about students having a voice and a choice in their personal education journey. This event will assist parents in knowing what options are available to students.”

The West Gym will be set ups with five stations, one for each of the five Academies. At each Academy station the Academy principal, counselors and lead teachers will be on hand to answer questions and offer information packets about the pathways within their Academy.

“We are excited to talk with parents about these opportunities,” said GISH Executive Principal Jeff Gilbertson. “A student can’t go wrong in making their selection unless they do so uninformed. We want to do everything we can this first time through to make sure all students and their families are confident in choosing which pathways they select.”

The Academies and pathways have been updated from previous lists, both to meet demand and better align with Nebraska’s career education standards. The Academies and pathways are now:

  • Academy of Education, Law & Public Safety
    • Education
    • Counseling & Mental Health
    • Law & Public Safety
  • Academy of Engineering & Technology
    • Alternative Energy
    • Aviation
    • Engineering
    • Information Technology
  • Academy of Business & Communication
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Agribusiness
    • Finance & Management
    • Multimedia Production
  • Academy of Technical Sciences
    • Architecture & Design
    • Automotive
    • Construction
    • Manufacturing
    • Welding
  • Academy of Medical Sciences
    • Healthcare
    • Sports Medicine/Therapy
    • Emergency Services

Students in grades 9, 10 and 11 are currently in the process of learning about the different pathways during class and special assemblies. They will each fill out a sample selection form on Oct. 25, which will help the district in testing the selection tool and process as well as show students how the tool will work.

Students will make their final selections, ranking their top pathway preferences, on Nov. 1. Students will be informed of their placements in one-on-one meetings with their current counselors during the month of November and start the process of building their schedules for the 2019-2020 school year.

“It is time for students to truly start owning their learning at Grand Island Senior High,” Gilbertson said. “We will continue to prepare students for this process and continue to personalize their experience while they are Islanders.”

Gilbertson highlighted the importance of parent involvement with the pathway selection process.

“This parent event is one way we are involving families in the process,” he said, “but by no means is it the only way. We want parents to know we have an open door for them to talk with us at all times. Please reach out to us. If this event doesn’t work for your schedule, call us. Come see us. We want you involved and informed throughout this process.”

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