Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Local Schools and Greene County Career Center (GCCC) announce the proposed expansion of a long existing partnership that will benefit Bellbrook-Sugarcreek students in grades 7-12 interested in STEM instruction. Beginning in the 2021-2022 school year, all seventh and eighth graders will be experiencing engineering classes at Bellbrook Middle School, taught by a GCCC teacher. Through this partnership, the Greene County Career Center will be providing the instructors who will deliver curriculum, equipment and necessary furnishings in the expanded engineering pathway.
The Career Center will also assume responsibility for the engineering classes at the high school beginning in 2022-2023 allowing additional savings for the Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Local School District. Greene County Career Center offers satellite programs and individual classes in all seven of Greene County’s school districts. In addition to the engineering classes, GCCC has provided family and consumer science classes for decades in Bellbrook-Sugarcreek schools and recently assumed the responsibility for the biomedical science classes.
“Greene County Career Center specializes in delivering high quality Career Tech Education and by expanding our pathway deeper into our middle grades, our students will have even better opportunities while being mindful of extensive and ongoing cost savings for our district,” said Bellbrook Sugarcreek Superintendent Dr. Douglas Cozad. “Our high school engineering and STEM programs have been among the top programs in the area and we are excited to expand this into our middle grades.” Dr. Cozad added, “This shared opportunity is an investment by the Career Center that will result in significant savings to our district while still providing impactful learning for our students as we are continually looking for ways to reduce our costs without students losing the exceptional learning opportunities we strive to provide.”
“We are very pleased to be able to bolster our presence in the Bellbrook-Sugarcreek district and will provide engaging hands-on, high tech opportunities for students in career paths that are in demand in the region,” said Greene County Career Center Superintendent David Deskins. “We have strong relationships with all of the districts in the county. This will be another example of how cooperation and teamwork can benefit our students while continuing to allow strong career technical experiences for our young people in the county.”
Cozad predicts his district will save more than $750,000 in personnel and equipment costs over the next few years due to this partnership. The partnership could result in additional savings if future Career programs are shared with the Career Center in the future.
The middle school programming offered to start next fall would allow the Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Locals School District to save more than $200,000 in the first year. Greene County Career Center is watching closely the state funding model to determine the full impact of the agreement as career technical funding has been frozen at previous year levels, making the start in a new facility, with new programming, more unpredictable for career centers across the state.
Automation and Robotics will be the required 7th grade course with Flight and Space being the elective 7th grade option. Design and Modeling will be the required 8th grade course with Medical Detectives being the 8th grade elective option. The high school pathway for engineering in the 2022- 2023 school year will be finalized in the coming weeks. The curriculum in each of these pathways is designed to align with in demand jobs in the region, while allowing alignment with Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Local Schools and with the new Greene County Career Center. These courses align with national and regional in demand careers in the industries of engineering, aerospace, robotics, and health sciences. The curriculum will directly lead to high school engineering courses and two year programs at the main campus of the Career Center.
Jeff Eckley, principal at Bellbrook Middle School, agreed that the partnership will be a great addition for the district. “We’re very excited to partner with the career center,” said Eckley. “With this partnership, courses will be added to expand on students’ skills including problem-solving, ethical reasoning, collaboration, communication, and critical and creative thinking and these are skills that are being demanded by our local business partners.”