Career pre-academies are small, personalized learning communities within a Middle School. Students enter the academy through a voluntary process; which requires them to apply and be accepted with parental knowledge and support A career pre-academy involves teachers from different subjects working together as a team. Staff teams, who often share common planning time, work together to implement the key features of the academy and provide students with training in the career field. Students may be grouped together for several periods every day with a core group of teachers. This promotes a family-like atmosphere and results in close student-teacher ties.
A Career academy includes the following essential elements:
1. A small learning community supported by a local advisory committee
2. A career theme that includes a college-preparation curriculum and lead to industry certification
3. Partnerships with employers, the community, and higher education stakeholders
Agricultural education is a program of instruction available to students desiring to learn about the science, business, technology of plant and animal production and/or about the environmental and natural resources systems. Agricultural education first became a part of the public education system in 1917 when the U.S. Congress passed the Smith-Hughes Act. Today, over 800,000 students participate in formal agricultural education instructional programs throughout the 50 states and three U. S. territories. Students at Westwood Middle have the opportunity to be part of one of the largest youth organizations in the U.S., The National FFA Organization. The FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. We have developed an award winning program participating in many areas of agriscience from swine production to vegetable production through the use of hydroponics.
The Westwood Communications Pre-Academy is a three-year Business and Information Technology Career and Professional Pre-Academy. The Pre-Academy offers introductions to Industry Certifications in Adobe products such as: Microsoft and IC3. Students completing this Pre-Academy can choose a specific career pathway such as Promotional Graphics, Web Designer, TV Broadcast, Broadband Services Installers and CAD Engineering. Students who successfully complete the Pre-Academy of Communications will earn a high school credit.