Grand Island Public Schools
123 South Webb Road
Grand Island, NE 68802
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GIPS wins Nebraska award for outstanding career academy

Grand Island Public Schools’ Career Pathways Institute was given the 2019 Nebraska Career Education Outstanding Rule 47 Career Academy Award by the Nebraska Department of Education during a ceremony Tuesday, June 4, in Kearney.

This award is designed to recognize the outstanding achievement of career education programs in junior high/middle schools, high schools and postsecondary institutions. An individual instructional program within a school/college or a school/college as a whole are eligible for this award.

“The impact CPI has had on Grand Island and our students is vast,” said Dr. Tawana Grover, GIPS superintendent. “We are incredibly proud to receive this honor. As we take the next step in college and career readiness education in GIPS, we look to continue the legacy started with CPI by our community partners and exceptional CTE staff.”

CPI has become a model for much more than the original six pathways housed at Adams Street and Central Community College. The CTE achievement for students within CPI was cited by many on the GIPS high school visioning team - consisting of community leaders, parents, staff and students - as a basis for expanding Grand Island Senior High to a wall-to-wall academy.

GIPS Board of Education president Bonnie Hinkle has been a part of the CPI - and now the Academies of Grand Island Senior High - process since the beginning.

“I am proud of the leaders and staff in our district for the vision shown and the work executed on behalf of every student, every day,” Hinkle said. “This award is further validation we are living our mission. Effectively helping students connect their education to future success is not always easily measured. This award shows we are doing things the right way for our children and our community.”

The staff at CPI have been instrumental in ensuring students receive both academic and work-based skills through instructional practices aligned to the state model of study, as well as involvement in student organizations such as SkillsUSA, FBLA and HOSA, among others.

“This award is a testament to the innovative experiences we provide students,” said long-time CPI coordinator Dan Phillips, now the newly named GIPS Director of Innovation for College and Career Readiness. “As we move all Senior High students into pathways, we will continue to utilize the lessons we’ve learned from CPI, our partners and the entire community through the process.”

In addition to sending more students on to two- and four-year colleges, CPI’s registered apprenticeship program - which, when started in 2017, was the first in Nebraska - added seven more partners this year. CPI continues to lead the way in the state for creating opportunities for students to get real-world experiences as a part of their high school education.

These efforts will only grow moving forward, as the Academies of Grand Island Senior High will give all students the opportunity to explore their choice of 19 pathways across five academies.

“We will constantly work to ensure our students have every opportunity to prepare themselves to make positive contributions to society and thrive in an ever-changing world,” Grover said. “Our students are college and career ready when they graduate from Grand Island Public Schools.”

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