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Raytown School District Expanding Educational Opportunities

Raytown schools expanding educational opportunities with Southland CAPS program

July 29, 2016 By Kris Collins

By fall of 2018, Raytown C-2 School District students will have the opportunity for hands-on job experience even before graduation.

This past week Superintendent Allan Markley announced the district is forming the Southland Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) program — modelled after Northland CAPS — for not only Raytown students but those in some districts south of the Missouri River.

The primary difference between the two programs, said Brian Huff, assistant superintendent of secondary education, is that the Southland CAPS program will be governed by the Raytown Schools Board of Education, not by a separate body.

“All of our activities will run through Raytown, just like Herndon [Career Center],” Huff said. “It will really end up being an arm of Herndon.”

The program is still being planned out. It’s uncertain at this point which other school districts and businesses will participate in Southland CAPS. The program will be administered during the school year and students will spend half of the day on campus. The first semester of the program will focus on classroom work and students will be at their internships for the second semester. It’s not yet known what disciplines of study, or strands, will be part of the program.

“Our goal is experiential,” Huff said. “It’s not to develop specific skills for the students but to have them see a broad array of what’s available in these strands. It differs from Herndon or Summit Tech in that at Herndon you’re going to learn a specific skill and get credentialed in a certain skill.”

To that end, the first semester of the program is intentionally broad and the second more narrowly tailored. For example, the first semester’s curriculum may be centered on healthcare and students could choose internships in healthcare IT or pediatrics.

The up-front cost of the program is $100,000. Huff said the program will be fee-based and not cost the district any further expenses after its inception.

Questions on the program may be directed to Cheryl Reichert, director of the Herndon Career Center, at 816-268-7140.