USA Today Notes Work-Based Efforts

A recent USA Today article, “Closing the gap between school and work,” features local high schools’ efforts to make learning more relevant and engaging for students.

The article leads off with Lakewood High School student Manida My learning in a simulation lab as part of a health sciences pathway that includes a partnership between the Long Beach Unified School District and Long Beach Memorial Hospital. Other LBUSD schools that participate in the “sim lab” include Poly, Cabrillo and Jordan high schools.

“Dressed in hospital scrubs, Manida My heard ‘code blue’ and saw her patient’s heartbeat on the monitor. All she could think was, ‘What should I do?’ Her first patient, ‘Johnny,’ was critically injured in a traffic accident caused by texting and driving,” wrote USA Today reporter MaryJo Webster.

"At first, I was really nervous. My heart was racing," My, the Lakewood High senior, said in the article. "I realized I had somebody helping me and I was more confident… Even though it was kind of scary, it was a good kind of thrill."

The article details the advantages of such programs, including reduced dropout rates for high-risk students, and opportunities for top students to get hands-on experience.

The USA Today piece also features McBride High School’s criminal justice pathway where ninth graders last fall conducted a mock trial based on “The Odyssey” for their English class. Students played roles as prosecutor, defense attorney, judge, witnesses and jury members to put Odysseus on trial for murdering the suitors who took over his home while he was gone. (They found him guilty).

"(Students) had to look at the story through a different context," said Beverly Moutet, lead teacher in McBride's criminal justice pathway. "It made them analyze the characters more deeply and helped them understand the story better."

The article is a sequel to two videos that USA Today recently posted on its website featuring CAMS, Cabrillo and Poly students engaged in work-based learning.

Read the full article.

DERON