Lancaster’s 8th Grade Academy expands opportunities for learning

The 2023-24 school year promises to be an exciting and transformational time for Lancaster County Public Schools (LCPS) on many levels such as new facilities, courses and programs.

Lancaster is in the process of enhancing Career & Technical Education (CTE) and Workforce Readiness (WR) programs for pre-K-12. Some goals are to ensure students opportunities to explore career paths, have workforce experiences and make decisions about their courses based on their strengths and interests, reported school board member Margaret Socey. The long-term goal is for each student to graduate with a personalized career or college plan.

“As part of further developing Lancaster County Public School’s CTE & WR plan, LCPS researched models in other school divisions that have been successful,” said director Mary Catherine Jones. “In the spring of 2023, Lancaster administration had the opportunity to visit the Academies of Hampton with Hampton Public Schools in Virginia to learn more about their model of providing opportunities for career and college pathways.

“Even though Hampton is a much larger division, Lancaster administrators recognized there were strategies that could be implemented within a smaller division,” said Jones.

One example seen in The Academies of Hampton was a course specifically for students in their first year of high school that focused on skills needed to be successful. The Lancaster County administration came back and worked with their teams to develop what is called the “8th Grade Academy” course….

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