Center 1 cannot be the only center or solution. Up to 150 students can attend Center I per day, and this year Albemarle County has 4,318 high school students. While enrollments have increased during the pandemic, with 71 students, they are still less than half of the capacity. The center started with 21 students in its first year.
Center I director Michael Craddock said his experience shows the model can work, although he is still working to improve the percentages of participating students of color.
Under the new plan, the division would grow from four academies to 16 learning communities in high schools and other educational institutions, each with career paths that students can choose from, such as finance, graphic design, or design. architecture and construction. In addition, the model would go from a four to three year program.
The pathways, designed to be a three-year program, are essentially a collection of courses and are grouped under Career Learning Communities, which would function similarly to current academies. However, the courses are designed to be flexible, so that students are not locked in and can focus on areas that match their interests.
For example, in the Hospitality and Tourism Career Learning Community at Albemarle High School, students can choose one of three pathways: accommodation, travel and tourism; recreation, entertainment and attractions; and catering, food and beverage services, according to a draft document. More details on the communities and the larger overhaul will be shared with families in the coming months.