BROKEN BOW – The Broken Bow Career and Technical Education (CTE) department will be holding a curriculum review on Wednesday, October 5 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the high school board room.
The purpose of the curriculum review, says business teacher Angie Palmer, is to provide a much-needed opportunity for businesses and community members to become involved with the CTE program’s present and future, as well as ensure a productive path forward for everyone involved.
“We’re going to show them: this is what we’re doing in the classroom, here are the standards we’re supposed to meet. Is this addressing concerns or things that you’re doing in your own industries? When we go into this curriculum review, we have to identify what it is we’re currently doing, what the needs are within the industries within our community, and evaluate what we can do with our existing program, and what the possibility would be of maybe introducing a new program.”
Part of evaluating the curriculum, Palmer says, is ensuring that skills, not just specializations, are covered. “The review’s going to let us know: are we covering the basic career readiness skills? Communication, problem-solving, critical thinking, collaboration: are our programs addressing those skills?”
Getting Broken Bow’s schools and businesses on the same page is crucial not only for the continuation of a unique academic track, but for strengthening the ties between students, local employers, and the community as a whole. All too often rural communities find graduating high schoolers walking across the stage and out of town; Palmer says that a prominent CTE curriculum, with local input, could keep Custer County thriving through work-based learning for students.
“We give them the skills they need to apply and interview for jobs, but they don’t just go to work; there’s actually a learning relationship that goes on. The student would have a supervisor to oversee how they’re doing, telling them what they’re looking for, and they’d make connections within that business. The business would also be teaching the student.”
Businesses have until September 30 to RSVP for the curriculum review, though should not be afraid that their voices will not be heard if they cannot attend. Palmer says that this curriculum review is only the first step in what should prove to be an enriching and beneficial process for all parties.
“I would say this is probably ‘Step A’ in ‘Phase 1,’ so to speak; there’s so much that we have to pull apart and figure out.”