Superintendent of Schools Dr. Frank Tiano is proud to announce that Uxbridge High School has earned distinction for two additional Innovation Pathway programs, with programs in Biomedical Science and Digital Media/Information Science being recognized by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Launched last year, Innovation Pathways are designed to create strong partnerships with employers in order to expose students to career options and help them develop knowledge and skills related to their chosen field of study before they graduate high school. For Uxbridge High School and its partners, these pathways will enable students to complete a course sequence in the content area and have access to college-level courses while still in high school, with families and students alike supported by a comprehensive guidance model. The information science and biomedical pathways join the manufacturing engineering pathway as programs at UHS, which makes Uxbridge High School one of only two schools in the Commonwealth with multiple pathways approved in the same school.
“Innovation pathways are designed to provide students with opportunities and direction so they can pursue careers in high-demand industries in the Commonwealth,” Governor Charlie Baker said. “We are committed to doing everything we can to ensure our students are ready to succeed in the 21stCentury economy, and these new career pathways are another way our administration is working to support students with a quality education that prepares them for success in high school and after graduation.”
“The Innovation Pathway movement helps provide a compass for students, community, and families,” said UHS Principal Michael Rubin. “As we empower our school to be a training center for the workforce of tomorrow, we are fortunate to have the support of the Commonwealth, our community partners, higher education, and the labor force as we build the capacity of students and make learning more relevant.”
Uxbridge High School currently offers two courses in biomedical science and at least six in the digital media/information science. Additionally, the school’s partnership with the Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce, MassHire Worcester, and Uxbridge Cable will enable students to take the academic skills learned in school and put them to immediate use, either through a Capstone/Senior project or Internship. Part of the high school’s program that continues to be considered particularly exceptional is its comprehensive guidance model, the implementation of which has been led by the guidance team of Christopher Barry, Amber Hampton, and Ashley Smith.
“Students involved in Innovation Pathways programs will study a carefully integrated series of courses and have work experiences relevant to their industry sector,” Lt. Governor Karyn Polito said. “These new pathways will expose more students to STEM-related fields and drive more young people to be interested in careers that are growing rapidly in Massachusetts.”
“Innovation pathways provides students in comprehensive high schools with career-oriented education that is too rarely available outside of vocational programs,” Education Secretary James Peyser said. “These new pathways don’t train students for specific occupations, but they prepare them for a variety of educational and career opportunities in a broad industry or sector.”
“Deepening the work that we are already doing to prepare students for success after high school is a key priority,” Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Jeffrey C. Riley said. “Innovation Pathways connect what is happening in the classroom with the real world, showing students firsthand what is possible for them after they leave our K-12 system. The individualized, supported planning for college and career that is intrinsic to Innovation Pathways will put students in the driver’s seat and on the path to accessing the 21st century economy. Plus, our commitment to equity ensures that all students will be able to access these new opportunities.”
“The goal is keep our students competitive, to help our economic partners build and sustain a workforce, and to give parents some comfort that their students will have choices leaving high school, be it to be gainfully employed, further their education, or both,” Rubin said. “Our counselors work hard to have students understand quite a bit about who they are, so that course selection and post-high school planning happens strategically, deliberately, and purposefully - and is ongoing, through each year a student is with us.”
These Pathways are a highlight of the Baker-Polito Administration and its Workforce Skills cabinet, which partners the Secretaries of Education, Labor, and Housing/Economic Development. As legislators grapple with the next wave of education reform, additional partnerships with higher education institutions and maintaining connections with the needs of the workforces in the different regions of the state will be critical and strategic.