Career/Tech Center in the Works

Local school districts exploring collaborative effort to further educational opportunities

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The building located at 1300 F.M. 2089 in Overton, formerly known as the Northeast Texas Treatment Center, may become the location of a new type of center which will provide educational opportunities to several local school districts.

In January, John S. Arrington, superintendent of Arp ISD, contacted local area superintendents to measure the response to the idea of establishing a CTE (Career Technical Education) co-operative. Superintendents Stephen Dubose of Overton ISD, Mike Payne of Carlisle ISD, Lawrence Coleman of West Rusk ISD and Tammy Jones of Troup ISD have all become involved as a result of that inquiry.

“We feel like Leverett’s Chapel will also be involved with the CTE center for they have expressed interest as well,” Arrington stated.

Arrington assures that the building remains in good shape and states the owners of the building have given “verbal confirmation that they would take care of the first couple of year’s major issues.”

How to pay for the lease, maintenance and necessary equipment will be detailed in a memorandum of understanding. The intention, according to Arrington, is to establish a single school district as the fiscal agent of the CTE center, while the remaining schools, represented by their respective superintendents, will be members of the CTE board.

The superintendents engaged in the process are currently planning initial offerings in health field studies such as certified nurse’s assistant (CNA) and pharmacy technician, though the CTE is not anticipated to be ready until the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year.

“We want to eventually expand out to building trades, auto mechanics, advanced welding, HVAC, turf management and culinary arts,” Arrington said.

The purpose of the co-operative is to allow students greater educational opportutnities that cannot be provided individually by the small school districts.

“The CTE offerings are a part of high school curriculum, but as small districts we can’t always offer these opportunities to our students,” Arrington commented. “Together, we can pool our resources and help our school communities. We hope to get some students ready to further their education in an industry or trade schools, or graduate from high school with a certification, ready to be employed.”

It is expected that there will also be an eventual need for full-time administrative persons for the CTE because once it is established, those involved intend for the center to grow.

As to who will provide instruction at the CTE, Arrington reported the current plan was to use “local personnel, locally certifying community members that have the credentials to teach some of our trade courses, and local college personnel that get on board with the CTE center.”

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