Back-to-school means career academies start in Rockford - – Rockford’s News Leader

Back-to-school means career academies start in Rockford

Maurice Cooper, junior at Jefferson High School. Maurice Cooper, junior at Jefferson High School.

One of Illinois' largest school district's starts for the year. Rockford students head back to class. A new school year means a new way to do classes at Jefferson High School, career academies start today."

"Our academy business partners are welcoming the students back for the first day of school. Since we are wall-to-wall academies they are inviting students back to have a great start to their year," says Don Rundall, Jefferson High School, principal.

Every student at Jefferson High School had to pick an academy or a career focus. For junior Maurice Cooper his choice was BAMIT which stands for Business, Arts., Marketing and Information Technology. He thinks the new school model will help him on his path to land his dream job of becoming a video game designer.

"Better opportunities. It should be easier since you are picking something that you want to do," says Cooper.

But not everyone is sold. Students like Amin Elwan say he wants to study sports medicine in college. But in high school he'd rather be able to explore his options instead of being so focused on one type of subject.

"I'd rather have the old high school way where people get to spread out," says Elwan.

But he does acknowledge the academy model should help him after high school.

"It's going to give me all the classes I need like all my anatomy and psychology classes," says Elwan.

The academy model means for people like Elwan, his other classes, such as English will relate to the medical field. Plus the students can also use class time to get experience in their career choice. For Jefferson teachers and staff they are ready to launch this model for the district.

"This has been a long time in the making. We've been going on this for 18 months. So everything that we've planned is ready to hit the pavement running," says Rundall.

Jefferson also got a makeover from Rockford Sharefest this summer. The non-profit spruced up the school to give it a better look as the academy model started.

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