They gather in one room. They talk, listen and provide feedback. Their insight is critical to helping Shakopee Public Schools build the Academies of Shakopee. They’re lawyers, accountants, entrepreneurs, medical professionals, CEO’s, and lawmakers.
They’re experts in their careers. Crème de la crème. In other words, they know what it takes to be successful. They know the importance – and some have experienced it firsthand - of trying, failing, trying again, landing on their feet and soaring to the top.
They’re helping the district by providing their knowledge and expertise.
In order to implement the Academies of Shakopee in a meaningful way for our students, we requested their help and they answered the call.
Our district has organized and implemented what’s referred to as the Academies of Shakopee Industry Councils.
The academies are small learning communities of students and teachers organized around areas of interest. Students will have the opportunity to connect with others who have similar aspirations and with teachers who can make meaningful connections to their plans for the future.
There will be seven academies: Arts & Communication, Business & Entrepreneurship, Engineering & Manufacturing, Health Sciences, Human Services, Science & Technology and the Freshman Academy.
Each academy has an Industry Council made up of a team of professionals from each area of interest.
“Industry Councils are an opportunity for our teachers and administrators to meet directly with the Shakopee area business community to review how we are creating the Academies of Shakopee,” said Ed Cox, current teaching and learning supervisor. “This includes looking at our overall plan for setting up the structures of the academies and diving directly into the class we are teaching as well as reviewing the scope and sequence of these courses.”
In March, Cox was selected as the Academy Principal for the Engineering & Manufacturing Academy and Science & Technology Academy.
“We have a great representative group from each academy, and then inside those academies we have a plethora of different backgrounds and careers to meet representation from each program of study,” added Cox.
The Industry Council works with our Teaching and Learning Department to mold and guide the development of each academy to meet industry standards.
“We want our students to leave Shakopee High School with a plan and a path to achieve their goals,” said Nancy Thul, Director of Teaching and Learning. “We need to be sure what we are teaching them inside the high school is accurate and applicable to real-world careers and post-secondary experiences.”
“They have been down these pathways and can give us great insight on what they missed in their high school experience and which skills they had to learn elsewhere,” said Cox. “They have been a wonderful addition to our process.”
The Industry Councils began meeting in the fall of 2016 and will continue to meet and provide feedback until each program of study in each academy is established.
In the fall of 2018, the expanded Shakopee High School will open after being nearly doubled in size. A new vision for Shakopee High School, the Academies of Shakopee, was created to ensure a welcoming, inclusive environment within a large high school setting and to improve student success in post-secondary programs and career.