West Valley Connection
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November 2016 - Posts

Did you know that Germany is the world leader in Career and College preparedness? Chris Nesmith, West Valley’s CTE director, has helped to earn West Valley recognition at state and national levels for our career and college readiness plan with our Boeing, Microsoft, and Early Childhood Education partnerships. Nesmith is proud of that, but Nesmith also wants our program to continue to improve.

When Nesmith heard that the German government was looking for thirteen vocational (CTE) administrators from around the United States to build a partnership, he was interested in what he could learn. Germany has set a model for career preparation that the rest of the world is looking to model with an educational focus called Dual-Vocational. Chris was one of thirteen administrators selected and the only from the west coast. 

In September, Chris spent one week in Berlin and the second week in the State of Thuringen. His team spent four hours a day visiting German vocational schools, four hours with panels regarding German education, and the last four hours taking cultural tours. Nesmith explains, “Many US initiatives and Vocational (CTE) research reports focus heavily on how our European counterparts have approached the same problems. The big difference is how Germany works in collaboration with industry. While post-secondary education is incredibly important over there, they are very purposeful in how they direct students to prepare for careers. The key difference is treating post-secondary as an extension in preparing for career and not as the last step in a students’ education.”  

An apprenticeship teacher at the department of utilities shows visitors the Natural Gas/Propane line lab in a German High School.  Instructors can create leaks with scented air and students have to find the leaks. Nesmith saw a plumbing, public utilities lineman school, and public utilities gas lines lab, all of which were secondary schools. 

Nesmith explains that in Germany, it’s not only about going to college, but about what jobs will be waiting for you once you finish. Germany is a leading example of how business, industry, secondary education, and post-secondary education can all function as one unit. Nesmith believes, “In a world with large student loan debt and increasing unemployment rates for college graduates, this is the next step for West Valley in how we can best serve our students.” Since Nesmith’s return, the CTE team has been working hard to build relationships with businesses.

Businesses looking to partner with us can contact Chris at nesmithc@wvsd208.org or by phone at (509) 972-5908.


Posted by WVSD  On Nov 03, 2016 at 4:52 PM

American Education Week began 95 years ago when the National Education Association was distressed that 25% of the country’s World War I draftees were illiterate.

What is American Education Week?

American Education Week is an opportunity to celebrate public education and honor individuals who are making a difference in ensuring that every child receives a quality education.

This year’s theme is "Great Public Schools: A Basic Right and Our Responsibility." Look for invitations at your child’s school to participate in this important week, and please take a moment to thank those who are making a difference in your child’s life.

Posted by WVSD  On Nov 02, 2016 at 1:46 PM

We're pleased to announce new board member Jeffrey Smith. We look forward to working on important issues together, and it's great to have another perspective when making decisions that benefit our students and community.