For more than a decade, the 21st Century High School Academies have provided an opportunity to combine student interest with student learning. As the district continues to grow, so too do the 21st Century academies. Olathe West High School is slated to open its doors in the fall of 2017 and when it does, two new 21st Century academies will make their debut as well. A total of fifteen academies will be available throughout the district to students starting in 2017-18 school year.
These innovative, four-year programs allow students to build upon their interests and learn specific knowledge and skills they can apply towards their post-secondary experiences and career fields. These transfer programs, in addition to the comprehensive high school courses and experiences in which students are involved, provide a focus for a student’s entire high school career.
Building the two new academies has been a collaborative effort among district faculty, administration, industry professionals, and new and existing business partners to help form the two newest programs — Green Tech and Public Safety.
“Our goal in getting so many members of the community together was to make certain we were getting as many people engaged in the process as possible,” Deputy Superintendent Alison Banikowski said. “We certainly could have completed the task with just a few people around the table, but we wanted a richer program that involved industry individuals, higher education, city government and more.
“Together these individuals bring an excitement to the table, along with a wealth of knowledge. Together we are creating state-of-the-art programs for our students.”
Other 21st Century Academies that will be debuting during the 2017-18 school year are:
- BIOengineering Academy (located at Olathe South High School)
- Business Finance Academy (located at Olathe South High School)
- Civic Leadership Academy (located at Olathe East High School)
- Future Educators Academy (located at Olathe East High School)