Vocational Program to be expanded in 2015-2016

Luci Bresette

Contributing writer

(April 16, 2015) The Nantucket High School administration has opted to expand vocational curriculum offerings for the 2015-2016 academic year. In addition to the current vocational classes – graphic design and landscape and gardening – NHS will offer an Introduction to Nursing and Allied Health class, and Carpentry, and Facilities Maintenance courses. The current vocational classes are taught by Merrill Mason and Bill Mogensen, respectively. Mason and Mogensen will most likely continue to teach these classes for the 2015-2016 season.

The Introduction to Nursing and Allied Health class is a college preparatory, half credit class geared towards the exploration and introduction of nursing and select processes in nursing care topics. It will also look at concepts related to careers in the allied health field. Students will acquire knowledge of allied health occupations and health maintenance, such as the identification, evaluation, treatment and prevention of various diseases and conditions. The nursing concepts discussed include, “health and wellness, the health care delivery system, community-based nursing practice, legal principles in nursing, ethics, and evidence-based practice,” according to the 2015-2016 NHS Program of Study. Students of the Introduction to Nursing and Allied Health class will develop critical thinking skills, patient education, advanced information processing, and documentation. The teacher for this class has not yet been decided but he/she will be selected through an interview process.

Both the Carpentry and Facilities Maintenance courses are listed as essential courses in the Program of Study. Essentials courses provide basic instruction while emphasizing on study skills. Essentials courses may not be recognized by all colleges or universities for credit.

Carpentry is a two credit essentials course exclusively available to grades eleven and twelve only, and will most likely be taught by Mike Girvin. This course will provide students with the skills necessary to understand and work in building and construction. Activities will include in-school instruction and demonstrations, as well as a wide range of hand and power tools available for student practice. Demonstrations will also occur outside of school, and will include trips to active building sites and workshops around Nantucket. The Related Trades class will teach plumbing, electrical, and architectural trades. This course is a great opportunity for students considering either a career in any building trade or School-to-Career option during their senior year.

General Repair and Facilities Maintenance is also an essentials course most likely to be taught by Girvin. This half credit semester course provides its students with the opportunity to troubleshoot common problems while sharpening their common sense skills. This class will give students enough knowledge about repair technology so that instead of discarding broken things, they can fix them. This class will take place in the NHS Wood Shop and will partner with the NPS maintenance staff as they learn to “maintain school buildings and property with the skills they develop,” according to the school program of study.

NHS principal John Buckey hopes students enrolled in vocational classes gain “perspective on potential career paths they might want to explore beyond high school”, and that “[vocational courses] provide students hands-on opportunities to explore areas of interest that might one day lead to a career or vocation.”

In short, vocational courses expand Nantucket High School’s effort to provide its diverse population of students all the courses they need to develop and explore skills in potential career paths.