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Apr 10, 2019 10:04 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Explores School-To-Career Initiatives As Possible Alternatives For College

Southampton High School Principal Dr. Brian Zahn explained that the outside of the building trades room will also be used as a space for the BOCES carpentry program. ANISAH ABDULLAH
Apr 10, 2019 10:04 AM

Southampton School District officials are working on new school-to-career initiatives aimed at providing options other than college for graduating high schoolers—initially, in the building trades.

Southampton Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nicholas Dyno outlined the program at a School Board meeting on April 1. He noted that a carpentry program, open to students from other East End schools, will be offered at the high school through a partnership with the Eastern Suffolk Board of Cooperative Educational Services, or BOCES.

He discussed the possibility of three other initiatives that will be explored further. Those include forming a local business council, partnering with the Stony Brook Southampton Hospital to develop a medical training program, and creating a culinary arts program.

Starting in the fall, the high school will offer a four-period carpentry program in its new building trades room, slated to be open by the first day of school. Dr. Dyno told the board that the district is currently finalizing a contract with BOCES, as well as a job posting for a teacher who is certified in career and technical education.

Any high school student will be allowed to enroll in the program as long as it fits in his or her schedule. So far, school counselors reported that four Southampton students are committed to enrolling, and three East Hampton students are interested, Dr. Dyno said. High School Principal Brian Zahn added that one or two students from Shelter Island also may be interested.

“Our goal is to get close to 10 for year one,” the superintendent said of the program’s enrollment. “With that, we possibly may be there.”

In a later interview, Dr. Zahn said that starting more specialized vocational programs has been on the district’s radar for a while, due to the demand from parents and students. The school currently send students to BOCES facilities in Riverhead and Bellport, but they have wanted more in-house, or at least closer-to-home, programs to reduce travel time and costs.

“For trades like carpentry, electrical and plumbing, we just don’t have enough people in the area going into those fields, and there is an interest,” he said.

In terms of costs, BOCES will charge a tuition rate based on the number of students enrolled by October, but the expense will be offset by BOCES paying rent for the classroom space, Dr. Dyno said. He pointed out that all students who take part in the program from outside the school district will pay non-resident tuition as well.

Concurrent to this program, the high school will offer a one-period building trades elective, taught by the same teacher for carpentry, electrical and plumbing skills. This course, which they are looking to schedule twice a day, has 18 Southampton students committed to enroll in the fall, Dr. Dyno said at the meeting.

“So, right now, it’s looking like the BOCES program will run in the morning, and then sometime after fourth period or so is when we can open up the building trades courses, and we’ll see the way that falls,” Dr. Zahn told the board.

District administrators want to provide not only new forms of training and education to their students but also the job opportunities that would typically follow. They are looking to set up a local business council to assist in making apprenticeships and paid summer jobs available for those students.

Administrators plan to publicize the council over the summer with hopes of getting enough local business owners signed up by the fall to begin hosting monthly meetings.

“Our kids won’t be ready probably for a year out, but it’s so that we have places for them to go after year one of the carpentry program, possibly with jobs the following summer, and … apprenticeships or internships beyond that,” Dr. Dyno said to the board.

Further down the road, the school district wants to explore the possibility of creating a medical training program for students through a partnership with the Stony Brook Southampton Hospital and BOCES. The program would offer BOCES courses, including those for nursing assistants, physical therapy aides, practical nursing, clinical medical assisting and medical transcriptions.

“This is really exciting to me,” Dr. Dyno said when introducing the initiative. He plans to meet with hospital and BOCES officials in May to discuss the idea, and hopes to have a program established for fall 2020.

School Board member Anastasia Gavalas noted that having such a program would please parents who have recently questioned why the district was not collaborating with the hospital in a way that benefits the students.

Althea Mills, the chief nursing officer, vice president of patient care services at the hospital, said that the hospital has a difficult time recruiting people for positions like nursing assistant and medical technician—positions that require relatively little medical training. So the proposed partnership with the school could help fill that gap.

“If you’re going to be teaching them and training them, let’s say as a medical assistant or nursing assistant, the hope is that by the time they’re 18 and graduating high school, this will be a good footing, a springboard for them,” Ms. Wells said. “This is something that is really going to keep the community growing. People will not be leaving the community to seek jobs and opportunities elsewhere.”

She added that a handful of Southampton High School students volunteer at the hospital, but not as many as she would like to see.

The most preliminary of the options discussed is the culinary arts program that the district is considering for high school students. Dr. Dyno pointed out that many students work in the hospitality industry, so implementing this type of program could advance their skill set.

He told board members that he wanted to get the local business council running first before delving into the idea.

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Bully for new Superintendent.
By TheTurtle (143), Southampton on Apr 10, 19 12:57 PM
Where has the School Board been sleeping? Some has thought out of the Southampton Box, excellent...
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Apr 10, 19 6:19 PM
Where has the School Board been sleeping? Some has thought out of the Southampton Box, excellent...
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Apr 10, 19 6:19 PM
now...if only these trades were able to support housing, healthcare, and living expenses for those doing the work (and their families) we would have quite the plan on our hands!
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (747), southampton on Apr 10, 19 9:35 PM
good move SH ! College is not for every student and there is lot of opportunities in the building trades here, especially for LOCAL KIDS.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Apr 11, 19 6:45 AM
1 member liked this comment
I wish more school would steer students into computer programming:

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By hotpants (1), west hampton on Apr 11, 19 12:51 PM