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Jersey Shore School Board to revisit CTE program

JERSEY SHORE — Comments by Jersey Shore School board member David Becker on a CTE health occupations program that the board voted down earlier this month, prompted the board to agree to revisit the subject at their next meeting.

“In researching Lycoming and Clinton counties, we’re the only school district in Lycoming and Clinton counties that does not directly offer a health careers vocational, career and technical program to our high school students,” Becker told the board.

“All the other school districts, one way or another are contracted to send their students to Williamsport School District or send their students to Lyco CTC…we’re the only one that doesn’t offer it,” he added.

He argued that the board needed to “revisit it and consider it.”

Board member Michelle Stemler agreed with Becker.

I don’t see it as a waste of time and effort by any means,” Stemler said, noting that the principal at the high school had told board members at the prior meeting that students were asking about this particular program.

I see it only being able to benefit students solely for the fact that it gives them a pathway to pursue, that’s not going to be any cost to us in essence,” she added.

One of the reason that board members who voted against the addition of the health occupations program had cited was that in order to hire an instructor position at the elementary level would need to be eliminated.

When contacted after Monday night’s meeting, Dr. Brian Ulmer, district superintendent, emphasized that the elimination of a position would be through attrition and not through furloughing a staff member.

Craig Allen, board president capped off the discussion by saying, “We’re providing a pathway. We’re not providing a specific destination. These kids that go into the health careers pathway, it will largely expose them to health careers in general.”

“Some of those kids may want to be a PA. Other ones may decide they want to go into nursing and then be a CRNP. Others may want to go into physical therapy, athletic training…but we want to make sure we give them the pathway and the exposure so they know what is out there,” he added.

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