CLEARFIELD – Lois Richards, executive director for the Clearfield County Career and Technology Center, notified the Joint Operating Committee that the center was the recipient of a certificate for achievement award from the Pennsylvania Department of Education at its regular meeting Monday night.
Richards said that the center was one of the 29 schools in the state that received the award. She indicated that there are currently 81 vocational schools in the state. She said the latter figure did not include high schools with vocational programs.
“I think it’s pretty significant,” she said of the award. She said that it was given for the center exceeding the expected PDE increase in levels of performance in Occupational Skills Attainment.
“It feels good. But I give the teachers all the credit. It has nothing to do with the administration. It’s all what the teachers do in the classroom.”
Richards said that the center’s teachers have incorporated “a lot of different things” to separate them from other vocational institutions across the state.
Richards said that the teachers utilize study guides for their respective programs. She said that the guides help in their preparation for the center’s end of year assessments.
In addition, she noted that each program has a theoretical perspective.
“It’s not all hands on. (Students) are learning more vocabulary terms and written knowledge,” she said. She said that the theory is a “big part” of the students’ end of year assessments.
She said the assessment is a national test, which Pennsylvania is a participant of for technology, and based on industry standards. She said that the teachers now include the test as part of the students’ final grades.
“We are making it meaningful for the students. If you give it meaning, it’s more than a Pennsylvania Skills Certificate. It has more relevance,” Richards said.
“And, we are proud of that.”