On 5/3/2016, Dr. Matthew Clark (Director of Career & Technical Education), Dr. Anita Hebert (Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction) and Kelly McDonald (Magnolia Rotary Club) gave a presentation of exactly what this years's Rotary Grant Project will be. Pictured from left to right are: Dr. Clark, Dr. Herbert, and Kelly McDonald.
Dr, Anita Hebert told the group that the Rotary Grant Project this year (2016-2017) is based upon Texas House Bill 5 (HB5) that passed in the 83rd legislature. HB5 provides more flexibility and options for students wanting to prepare for a specific career in the future regardless of whether or not a college degree is required. The bill came about because previously, all Texas schools basically prepared students for college. However, there are many career paths that do not require a college degree or maybe only a few college courses mixed with on the job training.
HB5 breaks out the types of career paths and sets up requirements and courses as part of a personalized graduation plan based upon a student's desire to go into a specific career path. The career paths are broken up into five different Endorsement Areas:
1. Arts and Humanities - courses directly related to political science, world languages, cultural studies, English literature, history and fine arts.
2. Business & Industry - courses directly related to database management, information technology, communications, accounting, finance, marketing, graphic design, architecture, construction, welding, logistics, automotive technology, agricultural science, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.
3. Public Service - courses directly related to health sciences and occupations, education and training, law enforcement, and culinary arts and hospitality.
4. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math) - courses directly related to science, including environmental science, technology, including computer science, engineering, and advanced mathematics.
5. Multidisciplinary studies, which allows a student to:
 (A) Select courses from the curriculum of each endorsement area described by the above (1) through (4); and
 (B) Earn credits in a variety of advanced courses from multiple content areas sufficient to complete the distinguished level of achievement under the foundation high school program.
Dr. Hebert then showed a list of core courses required for each endorsement area. A student may earn an endorsement on the student ’s diploma and transcript by successfully completing curriculum requirements for that endorsement area as adopted by the State Board of Education.
What the Rotary Grant (of $3,000 matched by club funds of $3,000) does is to set up a Career Day for about 200 8th grade students at the high school they will be attending after graduating from the 8th grade. The Career Day will give the students access to 20 or more local companies in the various fields provided in HB5. An introduction to Rotary Interact will also be available. The students will be given T-Shirts, lunch, and a 45 minute overview of what they are about to be exposed to. In addition, each student will be provided with a Chromebook to use during the session. This career day is expected to occur sometime during the first week of February 2017. Thanks to club Rotarian Denise Meyers, the Grant Project is ready to be submitted for approval.
Kelly McDonald then told everyone that she, Dr. Clark, and Dr. Hebert visited the Cy-Fair school district during one of their Career Days and learned a great deal about what they hope this initial program will become in several years. Her group sat in on the STEM session at the Cy-Fair Career Day to see how a typical session might be set up. They will use the information gathered to help plan the first Career Day at the MHS and MWHS.
After the Rotary Grant presentation, Kelly McDonald took the opportunity to present the "Roll of Fame" award that Deborah Rose Miller received at the recent District Conference held on Lake Conroe. A photo of Deborah and her award can be seen below.