Objective of the new laboratory: Ensure employment for students after graduation | New
Students at Spring Hill High School now have the opportunity to explore 264 jobs providing them with a unique and hands-on learning environment that enhances their abilities and skills and provides insight into possible career paths they might not have considered.
A classroom has recently been transformed into a Practical Assessment Exploration System (PAES) laboratory. The lab allows students to experience five different types of industries, creating a path to successful employment after graduation.
“Preparing, investing and caring for the future of all students is at the heart of this program, and I have no doubts that it will make a huge difference in the lives of many students,” said Kathleen Woodard, Senior Special Education Teacher .
Students enter and go through a procedure that includes checking in and completing a task for the day from a provided work card. They have to pick up materials for this specific task and complete it in a timely manner.
“It’s a program to help them develop what interests them,” said Woodard.
The program is supposed to be data driven and students become employees and teachers become supervisors. The program consists of six different levels, allowing each student to go through work elements that expose them to different jobs.
The five industries offered to students are construction, consumer services, business marketing, IT, process and production.
Students participate in tasks such as measuring food, cooking, nailing wood, using tools, and chopping wood.
“For cooking food, we cooked pancakes on Tuesday. When they flipped this pancake you would have thought we gave them a price. It’s the simple things and the small tasks, ”said Woodward.
“They are so excited to come here and it has become the best part of my day,” she said.
Students are given stopwatches to time tasks, this also allows them to be competitive with each other. After completing the tasks, students review the task showing their interest level of low, medium, or high.
“We can kind of see what attracts students and what interests them. Everything is recorded in a scoring database and we get an elevation score and how that relates to their level of interest, ”said Woodard. “They develop these entry skills for multiple career areas, learn to follow procedures, appropriate work behaviors, professional interests and problem solving.”
Woodard says the PAES lab is a data-driven program and job assignments are recorded to provide the student’s quality and interest in the program.
“It’s very structured and purposeful to help us know how to guide them for the future,” she said.