Bits & Bytes

  • What Parents Need to Know About Career and Technical Education

    Posted by Rebecca Miller on 2/6/2019
    Whether your child is just beginning to explore career and technical education opportunities or they’re already an enthusiastic CTE learner, here are six things parents should keep in mind:

    CTE allows students to study subjects they’re excited about:


    Let’s admit it - some traditional school topics just aren’t that exciting. But, with many CTE courses, the conversation changes. Graphic Design? Criminology? Biomedical? Those are subjects that will make kids eye light up - and keep them motivated to do there best!


    CTE connects classroom learning to the real-world:


    CTE courses are based on teaching kids applicable, real-world skills, and showing how those skills are put to use in different careers—oftentimes students even get to experience working environments first-hand through site visits or internship opportunities.


    CTE improves graduation rates:


    CTE courses can provide the right mix of flexibility, real-world application, and skills focus to engage students who may have struggled in traditional classroom settings. In fact, students in CTE programs have a 93% graduation rate- over 10 percentage points higher than the national average.


    CTE is NOT only for students who don’t plan to go to college:


    CTE programs are for all learners. Their goal is always to focus on relevant, transferrable skills, and that is beneficial regardless of students’ post-secondary plans.


    CTE prepares students for success in in-demand fields:


    CTE courses seek to teach students skills that they can immediately put to use in the working world. So, it only makes sense that the skills students learn in CTE courses align to some of the fastest-growing job fields, including healthcare, engineering, and skilled manufacturing. 


    Parents play a crucial role in supporting student success in CTE programs:


    Parental involvement and support is always a key factor contributing to student success, and CTE programs are no exception. Parents can urge kids to try CTE courses in various career paths they express interest in, help kids make connections between classroom learning and on-the-job skills, become advocates for CTE learning and industry partnerships in the community, and provide ongoing encouragement and accountability as kids complete CTE coursework. As is always the case, taking a true interest in your child’s learning can make a huge difference.

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  • 10 Things You Should Know About CTE

    Posted by Rebecca Miller on 9/20/2018
    10 Things You Should Know About CTE
    CTE - it's More than a Name Change
    Career and Technical Education (formerly vocational education) gives students a head start on college and careers in high-skill, high-wage and high-demand occupations organized in different Career Clusters including programs in Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources; Architecture & Construction; Arts, A/V Technology & Communications; Business, Management & Administration; Education & Training; Energy; Finance; Government & Public Administration; Health Science; Hospitality & Tourism; Human Services; Information Technology; Law, Public Safety, Corrections & Security; Manufacturing; Marketing, Sales & Service; Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM); and Transportation, Distribution & Logistics.
    CTE is for the Career and College Bound
    In today's workplace, continued education and training are givens. CTE programs include a sequence of 3 or 4 high school courses taken in addition to the academic core classes of math, science, English and social studies. Students completing both the academic requirements and a CTE program have the advantage of graduating from high school prepared for college and the workplace.
    CTE Students are able to Earn College Credits and Certification
    It's true! Many of the CTE programs offered around the state provide students with an opportunity to earn college credit, industry-recognized certifications or both. As an added bonus, nearly every CTE program connects to a state college program which makes it possible for students to transition from high school to college. 
    CTE Students apply what they learn 
    For example in the Pre-engineering program, Project Lead The Way, students apply skills learning in higher level math courses to real-world engineering projects, under the guidance of professional engineers or mentors.
    CTE Instructors are Professionals teaching with up-to-date equipment and technology.
    CTE teachers have worked in their fields or hold professional degrees as part of their certification. Industry advisory boards help schools design and equip learning labs. 
    Parents and Students can save Money
    High school is the only time individuals can obtain an education focused on career preparation without writing a tuition check.  High school students can earn licenses and credentials, often at a reduced cost compared to the cost of obtaining certifications and licenses outside of high school. CTE students can also save money on college tuition by earning college credit. Students completing CTE programs obtain knowledge and skills that can help them achieve better paying jobs while they are attending college. 
    Programs are designed for the Future
    Florida industries and businesses partner with local school districts, state colleges and the Florida Department of Education to create programs of study that prepare students with the knowledge and skills required for current and future careers in today's global economy.
    Internships and work-based learning opportunities provide work experiences and the prospect of developing a professional network
    CTE programs frequently include a final internship or work-based learning experience which helps students develop a network of co-workers and managers who may also become valuable references.
    Leadership and Interpersonal Skills are Expanded
    Students enrolled in CTE programs can join local chapters of state and national student organization. Participating in Career and Technical Student Organizations builds confidence as students demonstrate their skills and knowledge and many offer additional scholarship opportunities.
    CTE Programs are Available in every Community
    Career education courses are offered at secondary schools in all 67 school districts, all 28 state colleges, and at 46 technical centers within the state. 
    Additionally, in Florida, CTE students who complete three or more CTE courses within a prescribed program and who meet other standards are eligible for the Gold Seal Vocational Scholarship.
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  • Characteristics of Good Teachers

    Posted by Rebecca Miller on 8/21/2018
    Successful educators have a solid, healthy and productive relationship with students. Most of the credit for this success goes to the teachers' knowledge of students as human beings, and the needs, drives, and desires they continually try to satisfy through teaching.  Some characteristics of good teachers include: 
    • Be professional, the professional teacher is sincere, straightforward and honest.
    • Accept all students where they are in their learning, this includes all their faults and all their problems.
    • Teachers are role models, the actions and safety practices both during instruction and on the job site have a critical effect on the student behavior.
    • Keep up with trends related to the industry. Professional journals, periodicals, technical reports, and other sources offer valuable information to teachers.
    • Attempt to carefully analyze the personality, the thinking, and the ability of each student - no two students are alike.
    • Teachers should continually evaluate their performance, effectiveness and the standard of learning achieved by the students.


    The attitudes teachers display, and the manner in which they develop their instruction contribute to the impression students have of the teacher.
    chip prof dev
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  • Make Every Space a Space for Learning

    Posted by Rebecca Miller on 4/9/2018

    The design of the collaborative classroom emphasizes group learning. Typically, tables enable small groups to sit and work together, unlike the rows of desks associated with factory model schools of last century. Each group has ready access to the Internet, multimedia displays and collaboration software. The group tables, table-top displays, and sectional furniture are the most common characteristics of the collaborative classroom.

    By removing the conventional teacher desk, teachers and students will better understand their evolving roles as co-constructors of knowledge. Without a front of the room, every seat is the best seat in the class, and students are always at the center of learning. Flexible seating allows for spaces to transform depending on the purpose of the lesson.

    These collaborative classrooms are alive with action - teaching, learning, innovating, creating, making, and exploring - and have the power to transform learning and teaching.


    collaborative space

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  • The 'Maker' Movement Impacts Duval County School Teachers

    Posted by Rebecca Miller on 4/9/2018

    New tools and technology, such as programmable devices and wearable technology, are available for teachers who want to step up instruction in their classrooms.

    By embracing the concept of the maker movement, educators can revamp the best student-centered teaching practices to engage learners of all ages and spark interest in the latest technology gadgets.

    Our Makerspace Libary is located at Northwestern Middle School. Teachers are able to tour the space, ask questions, see the equipment and check out items.

    Contact Rebecca Miller, Communication Specialist for Career & Technical Education, to make an appointment: 


    piper kit pic

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