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Mascenic re-joins trade classes partnership with ConVal and Conant

  • Jennifer Kiley, director of ConVal High School Applied Technology Center, spoke with the Mascenic School Board on Monday night about a shared partnership between the districts on trade classes. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • The Mascenic School Board signed an agreement to partner with ConVal and Conant high schools to allow students to attend trade courses in each other's districts. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • The Mascenic School Board signed an agreement to partner with ConVal and Conant high schools to allow students to attend trade courses in each other's districts. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Thursday, March 21, 2019 11:41AM

The Mascenic and ConVal school districts have revived a partnership allowing students to travel to each other’s schools for trade programs.

ConVal was already in a similar sharing agreement with the Jaffrey-Rindge School District. Mascenic was once part of the agreement but pulled out several years ago, and instead contracted with the school district in Milford for trade programs.

At its meeting Monday night, the Mascenic School Board signed an agreement to re-join the ConVal and Jaffrey-Rindge cooperative.

“The Milford contract was expiring, and we’ve had very few students going to Milford,” Mascenic Regional High School Principal John Barth said in an interview on Tuesday. “I felt we would be better off trying to re-build the connection at ConVal. It just seems like a better fit.”

Currently, Barth said, there are no students attending trade classes at Milford, and two students taking a firefighter class at ConVal.

Barth, who was the principal at Jaffrey-Rindge’s Conant High School when all three schools were sharing trade programs, said the prior partnership worked well.

Jennifer Kiley, the Director of ConVal’s Region 14 Applied Technology Center, said in an interview Tuesday that ConVal currently has ten courses that would become available for Mascenic students, including teacher education, graphic design, digital photo and video courses, firefighter and EMT courses, computer networking and computer programming and manufacturing.

Jaffrey-Rindge has a building trades program which Mascenic students will be able to access, and Mascenic’s automotive program will now be available for Jaffrey-Rindge and ConVal students.

Kiley said there is already some cooperation between the districts, and there are currently three ConVal students attending Mascenic’s automotive program. The regional agreement, however, guarantees up to 25 percent of class space for the other partners. Today, it’s only as space allows.

All the schools will pay a tuition fee to send the students to another district for classes, as it does currently.

Kiley said the trades programs at ConVal are usually full to capacity and there is a high interest in them.

“I think in general people are becoming much more aware that opportunities after high school doesn’t just have to be limited to four-year college,” Kiley said. “There are two-year colleges, trade schools, apprenticeship and the workforce, and we’re trying to be cognizant of those opportunities. School should be what prepares you for the life you lead after school, not just for college.”

Barth said about 49 percent of last year’s graduating class entered the workforce immediately after school.

“That’s a significant percentage, and we want them to be able to learn the skills they need to do that,” he said.

Barth said Conant’s building trades program, ConVal’s manufacturing program and teacher education program are all likely to be of high interest to the student body.

“There’s a large job market in those areas, and they’re something there’s always interest in,” Barth said.

He said students have been shown the potential courses during their course selection process for next year and will be inviting Kiley to come and speak with the current 9th and 10th grade classes about the courses available.

ConVal was scheduled to review the agreement at its School Board meeting on Tuesday, and Jaffrey-Rindge is also expected to review it at its next meeting.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.