Education

Vocational Education

April 28, 2004 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Flying Lessons

Officials at a high school in Clearfield, Utah, had sought to help incoming sophomores plan for future careers through a federally financed class known as “Falcon Focus.”

But some parents of students heading to Clearfield High next fall have sought to clip the falcon’s wings, arguing that their children’s time could be better spent in other areas of study.

At last count, 75 out of 900 students scheduled to enter the high school, which serves students in grades 10 through 12, have sought to opt out of the career-oriented class, administrators say. John G. Mills, an assistant principal at Clearfield High, said that while school officials regard the class as an elective, they strongly encourage sophomores in the 1,900-student school to take it.

“We [see] it as an opportunity,” Mr. Mills said.

Students in the class listen to guest speakers, such as stockbrokers and veterinarians, talk about careers, and learn about financial management and debt. They receive assignments and a grade for the class, which is named after the school’s beaked, winged mascot.

Some parents have maintained that the school has tried to make the course mandatory. Some feared it would take away opportunities for elective classes; others worried it would detract from college-preparatory work, Mr. Mills said.

Yet school officials don’t believe Falcon Focus requires students to make those sacrifices. The class is held for one, 90-minute block out of a four-block day, every other day, Mr. Mills said. “There’s plenty of time” for academic honors, he said.

The class is supported by a three-year, $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Smaller Learning Communities program, which promotes smaller classroom settings within large high schools.

Jim Bradshaw, a spokesman for the department, said in a statement he did not believe that the school’s federal funding would be jeopardized by the student withdrawals, as long as the school, and the 59,000-student Davis school district to which it belongs, remained committed to keeping learning communities small, as outlined in the grant proposal.

And despite the parent pullouts, Mr. Mills said, Falcon Focus will stay aloft as an elective class at Clearfield High.

—Sean Cavanagh

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
IT Infrastructure Webinar
A New Era In Connected Learning: Security, Accessibility and Affordability for a Future-Ready Classroom
Learn about Windows 11 SE and Surface Laptop SE. Enable students to unlock learning and develop new skills.
Content provided by Microsoft Surface
Classroom Technology K-12 Essentials Forum Making Technology Work Better in Schools
Join experts for a look at the steps schools are taking (or should take) to improve the use of technology in schools.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Budget & Finance Webinar
The ABCs of ESSER: How to Make the Most of Relief Funds Before They Expire
Join a diverse group of K-12 experts to learn how to leverage federal funds before they expire and improve student learning environments.
Content provided by Johnson Controls

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: April 27, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: April 6, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: March 30, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
6 min read
Education Briefly Stated: March 16, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
7 min read