INDIANAPOLIS – Indianapolis Public Schools officials plan to transform high schools into career academies starting in 2018.
On Thursday, the district’s superintendent is set to recommend which three of the seven high schools will close. The remaining four will be reinvented to include more career-focused offerings.
Currently, students have seven career themes to choose from – IT, manufacturing and health sciences among others. About 45 percent of high school students are enrolled in career and technical education classes within the district.
Jonathan Garmany is the youngest worker at Indiana Steel Fabricating on the city’s west side. He said he landed the job less than two months after graduating from Arsenal Technical High School where he acquired skills for his welding position starting his freshman year.
"What other job lets you play with fire and burn things all day?” said Garmany. “My overall goal is to be over a shop, maybe a shop superintendent position and continue to build and help my company grow."
For now, he welds beams that will set the foundation for a new apartment building in downtown Indy. While at IPS, Garmany completed job certifications and two internships.
"The days of college for all I think are going by the wayside,” said Ben Carter with IPS Career and Technical Education. “Now it's college and career, so what career are you interested in? What's the medium needed to take you to that step?"
IPS’ goal is to house career-themed academies inside the remaining four high schools.
“We've identified key sectors in Central Indiana that are in need of employees. We've worked with some of our employers like Employ Indy, the mayor's office, to identify what those key sectors are,” said Carter.