Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Ridgewood, Marchman to Explore Technical High School Option

Land O’ Lakes, FL – (August 29, 2017) - Ridgewood High School, which received two consecutive D grades from the state in 2016 and 2017, is exploring converting to a technical high school and entering into a dual enrollment agreement with Fred K. Marchman Technical College.

The two schools sit next to each other in New Port Richey, making a merger convenient.

A technical high school specializes in skilled trades, applied sciences, modern technologies, and career preparation.  Students can learn relevant skills that make them marketable right out of the high school.

The technical high school concept would include standards-based instruction, but also courses that will prepare students for careers, through industry certification, and college.  Some courses that are being considered include welding, plumbing, cybersecurity, Java development and programming, legal administrative specialist, administrative office specialist, neurodiagnostic technician, optometric specialist, electrocardiograph technology, commercial driving, and heavy equipment operator.

The primary goal for all students would be a post-secondary education articulation program of study leading to an Associate of Science (A.S.) degree, acceptance into a four-year university, and/or certification in a high-wage, high-demand technical area.

Ridgewood High School would no longer be a boundaried school, and current RHS students would be rezoned to nearby high schools.  If the plan is implemented in 2018 – 2019, seniors would be able to continue at the school, along with students who are accepted into the technical high school through school choice.  Entrance requirements would include a minimum GPA and Florida Standards Assessment performance criteria.

The eventual enrollment in the technical high school would be around 600 students.  The goal would be to extend the school day by 30 minutes, within a 7-period block schedule.

The proposal will be the topic of a School Board workshop scheduled for Tuesday, September 5, immediately following the board meeting scheduled that morning at 9:30 a.m. Rob Aguis, Fred K. Marchman Technical College principal and Dr. Chris Dunning, Ridgewood High School principal, discussed this proposal with Ridgewood faculty and staff earlier today.