Iroquois High becomes 14th Academies of Louisville school

Students will be prepared for careers in business, education, culinary arts, engineering, media arts and skilled trades 

student works with bricks and mortar in masonry class

By Toni Konz Tatman | JCPS Communications

Iroquois High officially launched as the latest Academies of Louisville school in Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) on Thursday amid a celebration from business leaders and hands-on learning demonstrations by students.

The school will focus on preparing students for careers in business, education, culinary arts, engineering, media arts and skilled trades. The Builder’s Apprenticeship Academy is new and unique to the school, and it will be a future pipeline for Tech Ready Apprentices for Careers in Kentucky (TRACK) apprenticeships for students interested in electrical, plumbing, welding, masonry, and carpentry.

Superintendent Marty Pollio noted that Iroquois is the 14th school in the district to adopt the Academies model, which aims to evolve public education by equipping students with the skills and expertise to meet the needs of a twenty-first-century workforce.

"Our goal is to make sure that every single student who enters one of our high schools is on a pathway and in a program that excites them and is something that they are passionate about," Pollio said. "This model helps make learning relevant and allows us to partner with businesses to make sure that students are ready to transition into college and career." 

student working on plumbing during class

Iroquois High principal Clay Holbrook noted that his school has long been know for its skills trades program.

"We are proud of that rich history and of our grads who have gone on to awarding successful careers," he said. "With this Academies model, our new Builder’s Apprenticeship Academy will allow us to build a bigger pipeline for tech-ready apprentices for careers across Kentucky. It will also allow for apprenticeships for students interested electrical, plumbing, welding, masonry and carpentry careers."

Pollio said he has heard numerous times throughout his career about the need for skilled trades workers in the Louisville community.

"JCPS wants to meet this need," he said. "Our students will get the experience and skills they need through a three or four course sequence and then, during their senior year, they will be out in the workforce being an apprentice."

The Academies of Louisville are preparing, inspiring, and empowering students by offering a new kind of educational experience — one that shifts from traditional techniques and environments to provide meaningful, relevant learning experiences that directly relate to our world today.

It mixes career-oriented classes with core content courses like math and English in hopes of developing skills and interest in certain fields.

Christy Rogers, the district's assistant superintendent of transition readiness, says the Academies of Louisville are showing no signs of slowing down.

"And we could not do this without our business partners," she said, adding that thus far, JCPS has over 70 business partners signed on to help.

"We are not askig for money, we are asking for their expertise, their time and their ability to bring kids in to be apprentices with their companies," she said. 

For more information about the Academies of Louisville, visit our website

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