(ORLEANS) – On Tuesday evening three Indiana School Districts met for the third time to celebrate their accomplishments, and reconnect with the goals and priorities of COSMOS.
COSMOS stands for Collaboration of Shoals, Mitchell, and Orleans Schools. The ultimate goal is to prepare students for a career.
The group met in the cafeteria of the Orleans High School.
Tuesday evening superintendents, principals, teachers, school board members, and many other stakeholders met to hear about where this program is currently and where they want to be in the future.
The first year of COSMOS was the planning stage for the group. The schools have started implementing goals they each have developed.
COSMOS has digital Fabrication Labs already being used to allow students to learn and utlize skills to be ready for careers in the future.
With this program, students use computer-controlled tools, much like those found in some of the county employers, to create functional solutions to authentic problems while developing 21st Century employability skills.
The students learn advanced technologies, which include advanced manufacturing and STEM equipment like 3-D printers, laser cutters and programable microcomputers.
All three school district schools have incorporated STEM into their middle school curriculum with 200 students taking part in STEM. Mitchell Community School Corporation is looking into building a STEM area to house some of the equipment that is on the way for STEM programming. Amanda May, Mitchell Middle School Principal has been working over the last year in planning for the STEM programs and new classroom spaces for labs to teach students.
“Virtual learning is here to stay, rather you think so or not,” said Dr. Brent Comer Superintendent, Mitchell Community Schools Corporation.
“In a Tsunami, you can either be a surfer and ride the waves or can wait on it and be obliterated,” added Dr. Brent Comer. ” I believe COSMOS is going in the right direction in virtual learning,”
For over the last few years. Mitchell Community Schools have been testing out the virtual learning programs. With COVID-19 hitting over the last year it has taught the school corporations what is working and what needs to be improved upon.
“I think one thing we have learned through the COVID-19 is we have a lot to learn. We have a lot of ways to do better, but I think we can do it, ” said Comer.
At the middle school, educators are preparing students to start looking at their future and what careers they would like to pursue.
Career Technical Education (CTE) provides students of all ages with the academic and technical skills, knowledge, and training necessary to succeed in future careers and to become lifelong learners.
All COSMOS students will have the opprotunity to focus their high school course choices within a major.
Majors are a method of organizing available courses into manageable college and career-focused areas. These are based upon individual interest and aptitude. Including prioritizing course selection and activities while completing graduation requirements, a launching point to enroll post-secondary and career goals.
COSMOS also focused on the Pathways to graduation and the requirement that are required for an Indiana High School to receive a diploma.
All three school corporation have action plans in place at the middle and high school levels to meet the goals of having the students prepared for their future careers.
The next step for COSMOS is to have shared courses and working towards the seal in State Earn and Learn.
In conclusion of the meeting the group was asked two questions.
Question one, “If we are trying to help our schools shoot for the moon, what additional systems of support do you feel we need in place?”
Second Question, “What can we do as three school boards to help create those systems of support?”
The group will work to address those questions.