To the Editor: Reader praises decision to increase vocational offerings
By: Clarence Badger, Pine Journal
To the Editor:
I am very impressed by the Cloquet School Board for its commitment to vocational education. With the addition of one more vocational teacher, Cloquet has taken an important step in helping students who have been overlooked by the emphasis on college prep courses over the past decades. It is an important commitment by the board in these challenging fiscal times.
The real winners of this addition to the 2013-14 school curriculum will be the students. I hope parents realize the importance of the school’s commitment to provide learning opportunities for all students, not only those headed to a four-year college. There are many careers which pay excellent wages if students are willing to look at all the future job openings available to them — many within the immediate area.
The vocational programs were an integral part of the school curriculum in the past. They gave thousands of students an opportunity to learn special skills, skills that could be used for obtaining excellent jobs and/or entrance into vocational schools and college programs.
All vocational programs — once funded directly by the government — now rely on local school funding. So, this is a big investment and commitment by ISD 94.
It is equally important that the community, parents and students also make a commitment and support the vocational programs. The local community and industries can help with continued support and by promoting and hiring locally qualified personnel. Parents can help by supporting, encouraging and discussing with their children ALL the various job opportunities for future work including college, vocational schools, trade schools or on-the-job training. For their part, students have to take advantage of these courses and appreciate the school district for providing them.
ISD 94 is now willing to create these great opportunities for students by teaching skills, and — more importantly — to build an interest in students minds about a variety of future opportunities. I hope the parents and students take full advantage of this great opportunity in school next year and the years to come.
Clarence Badger, Cloquet