BPS looking at expanding classes at Career Academy

By  | 

BISMARCK, N.D. - The Bismarck School district has a plan to increase the number of students and class offerings at the career academy.

It would allow high school students to take math and sciences classes there. But first, it needs a waiver from the state.

There are still a lot of hoops to jump through before this is a done deal. The school board decides October 28 if they want to pursue the waiver.

Then it would go to the state. If that happens, the district says they expect more kids to stay engaged in school.

Emma Modin isn't the type of person who likes having information drilled into her head. She prefers a hands on approach, like nearly 1,000 other students who go to Bismarck's career academy every day.

"We get to do stuff with our hands every day and build stuff and it's way more freedom than compared to regular class,” said Modin.

The senior travels every day from Legacy to the career academy for classes. Now the district wants to test run a program cutting that travel and letting students take other math, science and English classes in the same building.

"There's so many kids that maybe they struggle in a traditional setting then they get up here and it’s a little bit more choice in some cases but it's the whole working with their hands and staying engaged in what's appealing,” said Brian Beehler, the assistant principal at the career academy.

The program would be an opt in, with the district planning on a small starting group to see if it works.

"A big part of the waiver will be internships and taking classes for credit that maybe they get high school credit and they get college credit through an internship,” said Beehler.

"There's a lot of options they have at Legacy they have for classes but even more here. For example, your typical math class getting to take it here and getting to actually do something with the math and apply it to what you do in real life would be a lot nicer,” said Modin.

Beehler says if everything gets approved, the waiver could be in place for the 2020-2021 school year. If the state approves the waiver, Beehler says the next step would be stakeholder meetings, with the public, teachers and students to figure out how to craft the program.