High school to become 12th – and newest – academies school in JCPS
Amid the screech of a high-speed police chase, the boom of a forced-door entry and the whir of heavy machinery, Fairdale High School announced it will become the 12th – and newest – high school in Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) to join the Academies of Louisville.
Beginning in the 2018-19 academic year, the school will launch four academies – a Freshman Academy, as well as academies that will focus on civil service, public service and global service professions.
“I could not be prouder that the momentum continues to build for the Academies of Louisville,” said JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio. “This initiative relies on strong school-business partnerships and work-based learning opportunities. By aligning workforce and education, we are moving forward together to offer a new kind of educational experience in order to prepare a new generation of young people who will graduate from high school ready for college, careers and life.”
Students demonstrated the skills they’re acquiring in an academies-model curriculum, including replicating a high-speed police chase in a driving simulator; simulating a forcible door entry; and operating heavy construction equipment.
For Fairdale, which has a long history of school-business partnerships as it focused on preparing students for careers in law enforcement, fire science and heavy equipment, as well as teaching and learning, becoming an Academies of Louisville school was a natural extension of its mission to certify students for in-demand, high-paying careers.
“We’re so proud to highlight the great work that’s been done between our school, our community and business partners over the past decade,” said Principal Brandy Corbin. “It’s an unparalleled advantage to have this level of support, and we’re excited that we can give back by graduating students who are prepared to excel in their chosen fields and in their lives.”
As an academy school, Fairdale will receive additional resources to support the rigorous hands-on, project-based curriculum. The high school will receive an academy coach, who will serve as a liaison between the schools and business partners, and a dedicated assistant principal and counselor for each academy.
“This program truly is the best kept secret in Jefferson County Public Schools,” said Dave Myers, a heavy equipment instructor at Fairdale. “It’s an honor to work with these students, and it’s so rewarding to know that this work will result in them being fully prepared for jobs in the wide-open construction industries.”
“MSD is proud to be part of Fairdale High School’s successful Heavy Equipment Science program, that expands career and educational opportunities for youth,” said Saundra Gibson, business and community partnership administrator with MSD, which has hired many of the school’s graduates to help provides wastewater management, drainage and flood protection services across the 376 square miles of Louisville Metro.
Launched at the start of the 2017-18 school year at 11 JCPS high schools, the Academies of Louisville initiative aims to evolve public education to equip students with the skills and know-how to meet the needs of a 21st Century workforce. The academy model benefits all students through a personalized learning experience within a small learning community; participation in hands-on, project-based learning; development of 21st Century essential skills; and community involvement.