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Hart district continues to expand ROP

Posted: April 3, 2014 4:59 p.m.
Updated: April 3, 2014 4:59 p.m.
 

More than 2,000 students in the William S. Hart Union High School District are expected to take part in career exploration and training courses during this school year, officials said this week.

The Hart district’s assortment of such courses — known as the Regional Occupational Program, or ROP — is meant to help students understand the real-world applications of classroom principles by providing access to work-based experiences.

“So it’s not just about learning algebra or math, it’s trying to apply that so that it really helps students understand why they’re learning math and biology and science and so on,” said David LeBarron, director of curriculum and assessment for the Hart district.

ROP courses in the district are offered on a variety of topics ranging from animal care and services to interior design to wildland firefighting.

Typically, those courses are taught by an industry professional.

“ROP is a very hands-on experience, so the majority of class is about applying what you learn,” LeBarron said Thursday.

LeBarron said by the end of the current school year an estimated 2,025 students will have passed through an ROP course.

Those include students looking to get a leg up on college coursework, either at College of the Canyons or in the University of California and California State University systems, and those who might be looking for vocational training in a particular career field.

“It covers a spectrum,” said LeBarron of students who take ROP courses. “But the goal is to really get a hands-on experience.”

The Hart district has also worked to develop career pathways for students.

“When a student chooses a career pathway, they will receive a certificate at the end of completing the pathway that could be helpful in entering (a) Tech Ed or certification program or articulate into COC or other post-secondary education programs,” wrote spokeswoman Gail Pinsker in an email Thursday.

“In some cases with ROP, students can earn industry certifications.

“An example is that we have had students who earned a high school diploma alongside a cosmetology license, enabling them to get a job out of high school with all the certifications by the state to work in a salon,” she wrote.

“ROP provides students a great opportunity to explore multiple careers to make informed decisions about their future.”

The Hart district continues to develop such programs, according to LeBarron, and has seen growth in several areas such as arts and media design, information technology and automotive technology, among others.

“ROP has been in the Hart district for years,” LeBarron said. “What we’re doing is trying to maintain it and make sure it’s relevant and meaningful.

“The world is changing, so ROP has to change as well,” he said.

Hart district board member Joe Messina, who has regularly advocated for ROP courses and career technical education during his time on the board, said he thinks the district is doing a good job in these areas but needs to do more.

“Given the resources that we have, I think we’re doing a very good job with ROP,” Messina said Thursday.

Moving forward, Messina said he would like the district to expand career technical education offerings and start offering more of such courses during school hours.

“You’re asking young men and women to go to school all day then come back for an ROP course,” Messina said.

“If we get more of the career tech education and have those programs fall within school hours, then they can move on from math and science to getting a hammer in hand, getting a screwdriver in hand, and learning that way.”

Lmoney@signalscv.com
661-287-5525
On Twitter @LukeMMoney

 

 

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