Career program expanding options

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A proposal to make the Senior Odyssey program an elective at Steamboat Springs High School does more than offer resolution to lengthy public debate. It also articulates the expanding number of ways for high school students to fulfill their Career and Technology requirement.

If the School Board adopts the proposal next month, the class and project components of the Odyssey program will become one of 15 half- and full-credit classes that high school students can use for the requirement. For the past two years, the Odyssey program has been the only way to fulfill the requirement.

According to the proposal, the Career and Technology Committee has recommended two of those classes, Elements of Design and Medical Prep, as new classes to be implemented next year.

The committee also is considering Small Engine and Con--struction classes, but Steamboat Springs School District Super--intendent Donna Howell said those options likely will not be implemented in 2006-07.

"I'm not ruling it out, but we have a directive from the School Board to install two classes for next year," Howell said, citing concerns about a lack of necessary equipment and space for a small-engine or construction class. Much of the curriculum and staff are in place for the design and medical courses, she said.

Elements of Design would cover "all aspects of design," high school Principal Mike Knez--evich said, including graphic design, Web design and landscape architecture. Medical Prep would give students a broad foundation for a career in the medical field.

Knezevich read the Odyssey proposal at Tuesday's meeting of the Graduation Requirements Committee. Created by school administrators and Odyssey staff, the proposal would broaden the scope of the school's career preparation courses.

Any two of the following half-credit, one-semester classes would fill the Career and Technology requirement, according to the proposal: Creative Expression, Home Repair, Introduction to Teach--ing and Child Development, Heal--thy Adult Living, Personal Finance and Video Production.

Any one of the following one-credit, yearlong classes also would fill the requirement: Senior Odyssey, CAREERS/Work Study, A+, Engineering Tech 1, Engineering Tech 2, Engineering Graphics, Advanced Technology and the two new courses, Elements of Design and Medical Prep.

At the Tuesday meeting, requirement committee members finalized curriculum recommendations -- including the Odyssey proposal -- that will be given to Howell and the School Board. Howell said the School Board likely will review the recommendations at its Jan. 9 meeting and take action at a meeting Jan. 23.

If the proposal is adopted, Odyssey would become an elective at the beginning of the next school year. Requirements for the current senior class will not change.

When asked whether students under the proposal next year would be able to take either the classroom or project component of Odyssey by itself, without the other component, Knezevich said: "Not at this time."

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