Two schools in Shelby County will be getting new names which school leaders feel better reflect their overall missions. The Shelby County Board of Education approved a request by Superintendent Randy Fuller to rename the School of Technology the “Shelby County College and Career Center” and the Alternative School “New Direction.”
According to Rene’ Day, Coordinator of Career/Technical Education, College/Career Planning and Community Partnerships, the name change for the School of Technology will better reflect the types of courses that are being offered at the school. Day said career and technical education (CTE) is rapidly changing to meet future workforce demands. In the past, most of the programs were meant to teach knowledge and skills required by students who choose to go directly from high school into the workforce. However, today’s CTE programs are as varied as the students enrolled in them.
“The Shelby County School of Technology has steadily increased its offerings to include programs that prepare students for post-secondary education at the two-year and four-year level. While the name School of Technology has served the school well in the past, it no longer reflects its true mission,” Day said. “Onsite programs such as Health Sciences; Drafting and Pre-Engineering; and Culinary Arts form a segue to college level courses. It is important that the name reflect the mission.”
“Today’s instructional emphasis is on preparing our students for the future – to be college and career ready,” Day continued. “Changing the name of the school to Shelby County College and Career Center will help students, parents, and community partners better understand the opportunities that are available.”
According to Dr. Lewis Brooks, Assistant Superintendent of Administration and Pupil Services, renaming the Alternative School is an effort to improve the disciplinary outcomes for students. Dr. Brooks said the name change to New Direction will set a more positive tone overall for the school and reinforce the message of encouraging students to set a new direction for themselves as they learn from their mistakes.
“The name will send a constructive message about the efforts to improve behavior,” stated Dr. Brooks. “While the school is in place for punitive reasons, it is a place where students can reflect on the consequences of their actions and change their behavior. The name New Direction promotes the change from bad decisions to a more positive course of actions, skills, and behaviors that will allow students to be successful upon returning to their home school.”