Large expansion of class space, making iPads available to more students, and accepting non-special education freshmen for the first time are just a few of the changes in store for the Lorain County JVS this school year when classes begin Monday.
Superintendent Glenn Faircloth said the new construction will accommodate about 200 students of all grade levels.
“It’s going to be a beautiful finished product,” he said. “There will be seven new classrooms and our max class size is 27. Ideally, we’d like to get every one filled up to the maximum.”
When it comes to the vocational school now accepting all freshmen, other district officials have said they’re worried about their enrollment numbers dropping. Wellington school board member Ayers Ratliff, who also serves on the JVS board, said 19 prospective freshmen switched from Wellington to the JVS over the summer.
“We’re just trying to give students another option to get the most out of their education,” said Faircloth.” We’re also here to support any school district. They are friends of ours. It’s all about the kids. The best fit for them is what’s important.”
Enrollment for the new year comes in at roughly 1,150, said deputy superintendent Jerry Pavlik. That’s down from last year’s total of 1,418, including 94 freshmen. Pavlik said off-site students have not yet been completely tallied for 2016-2017, which could skew enrollment totals a bit at this point in the year.
He also reflected on the straight A’s the JVS received on its Ohio Report Card last year.
“It feels awesome to get that kind of feedback,” he said. “We’re delighted with it. We still want to constantly try to get better but those number validate what we’re doing. We’re big proponents of technical education and the hands-on aspect of it. Those grades are a product of the great job our teaching staff does.”
Wellington High School principal Tina Drake has also voiced worries that freshmen beginning high school at the JVS will return to their local schools lagging behind in mathematics.
Faircloth said there is no reason to worry.
“Our math teachers are fully certified by the state. We have some very dynamic math teachers,” he said. “A unique thing about career centers is students getting to take the math they learn and apply it in a hands-on way. It’s much easier to get kids to want to find out about geometry in this way. We have excellent teachers in all areas whether it’s math, science, and social studies. We’re not the vocational school of old. Students are coming out of here with a very robust education in all areas.”
The JVS will continue its iPad initiative this year, getting the devices out to more and more students, and also its five-year partnership with Lorain County Job and Family Services.
“Some students don’t have an avenue to talk about mental health,” said Faircloth. “Parents may be too busy and teachers aren’t trained in those issues. We want to help. Maybe someone’s dealing with bullying, a pregnancy, or even identity issues. Job and Family Services is a very helpful piece of the puzzle to get them the help they need.”
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.
Jonathan Delozier | Civitas Media Superintendent Glenn Faircloth said new construction at the Lorain County JVS will hold about 200 students.