Two high school academies in Rockford Public Schools have earned model status from the National Career Academy Coalition. The organization notified the district in December that the Health Academy at Guilford High School and the Production Academy at Jefferson High School achieved model status – signifying that the two academies met the highest level of proficiency according to the coalition’s 10 National Standards of Practice.
At Guilford, the Health Academy received model status with distinction; this accreditation reflects the academy had a perfect or near-perfect score (the academy received 128.85 points of 130 possible).
Reviewers from National Career Academy Coalition were at Guilford and Jefferson for interviews and evaluation in mid-November, the culmination of a rigorous application process. The academies were judged on national standards for best practice in preparing students for postsecondary education and careers. Those standards are in categories such as academy design, teaching and learning, governance and leadership, community involvement and sustainability. This spring, the Production Academy at East High School and the Business/Production Academy at Roosevelt Community Education Center will be evaluated for model status.
“Our school teams have worked hard to achieve model status,” said Bridget French, Executive Director of College and Career Readiness. “It’s exciting to see the progress that’s been made, and the correlation between student achievement and academies that reach this level.”
Academies succeed in improving outcomes for students when the academy model is carried out with fidelity, and achieving model status illustrates that academies are working. For example:
High graduation rates:
- The 376 students in Guilford’s Health Academy had a 100 percent graduation rate for school year 2018-19.
- The 385 students in Jefferson’s Production Academy had a 96 percent graduation rate for school year 2018-19.
- Students in Jefferson’s Production Academy can receive certification from the National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS); the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association (FMA); and OSHA 10, a standard job-site training in manufacturing.
- Students in Guilford’s Health Academy who complete the third course in the pre-med/nursing pathway sequence can graduate with a CPR certification, dual credit and a CNA license.
Both academies will be formally recognized for achieving model status in fall 2020 at the National Career Academy Coalition annual conference. The model status for each academy is in effect for four years, until November 2023.
“We're so proud of the work our teachers and staff have put into the academies,” said Superintendent Ehren Jarrett. “This recognition is a powerful example of what our district can accomplish when our community, staff and students are all focused and aligned on the same objective. The recognition at Guilford and Jefferson is a step toward our goal to have all RPS 205 academies achieve model status.”
Learn more about the College & Career Academies in RPS 205.