The Lafourche Parish School Board is taking the next step in the education and advancement of its community’s youth with the construction of a brand new facility named the Career Magnet Center.
The Career Magnet Center will provide additional education to juniors and seniors from South Lafourche, Central Lafourche, and Thibodaux High.
The Center will have multiple programs for both students looking for Advanced Placement and core classes for universities and for students looking for a career in a vocational study. Vocational career industry courses at the Center will include Oil and Gas, Cosmetology, Automotive, Culinary, Health Science, and Construction Craft.
The Center could essentially give students a more focused education than a traditional high school. Its long-term goal is to help students get a head start on a degree in either a technical or four-year college or even straight into the workforce making a solid income.
“Really we want to give them all of the tools necessary to jump start the next phase of life, whether that be in a job or school,” said Director of Secondary Education, Aubrey “Bubba” Orgeron.
The Career Magnet Center is currently under construction along Highway 308 in Lockport and is expected to open August 2015. Its location is almost exactly halfway between South Lafourche High School and Thibodaux High School.
The Center is estimated to cost around $15 million dollars. Bus transportation will be provided to students, however students will be allowed to drive themselves if they choose.
The Center’s courses will follow dual enrollment with high schools. Students enrolled at the Center will likely be taking four courses at their local high school and three courses at the Center.
The Center is the same facility that was mentioned in the Lafourche Parish School Board’s five-year-plan.
The School Board recognizes the increased need for skilled workers in technical fields. The Center’s programs align with the “Jump Start” diploma pathway, a new state program designed to give high school students career courses and certification in high-wage industry jobs. Orgeron also says that the Center will have the space and the flexibility to adjust its courses in the future based on the interests of its students and the needs of society.
“We want a variety to appeal to kids, and to give them opportunities for after high school,” said Orgeron.
The communication and coordination between the Center and the high schools has been a major focus these past few months. Orgeron and other coordinators have been meeting with the three high school’s parents, faculty, counselors, and students. Counselors are encouraged to promote the possible potential the Center holds for students.
The meetings with the high school students are especially important to receive their input on what courses students would be most interested in. Orgeron plans on increasing communications between the Center and the public further in the near future.
“It’s been big, but we still need to continue. So we are probably going to have middle-school kids next year start to come tour the facility to get an idea whether they might want to come here as well as ninth and tenth graders,” said Orgeron.
Decisions on the running of the Center are already being made in order for students to start taking classes there as early as the next school semester. Furniture orders and technology packets are being evaluated.
The current principal of Golden Meadow Middle School, Tim Long, has recently been hired to be become the principal of the Center.
Posted on Fri, January 30, 2015
by Ulysses Gisclair, Contributing Writer