Board of Education Approves New Public Service Leadership Academy

     Published on   Tagged under:    District News   

Superintendent Sharon Contreras presented the proposed plans for the academic programs for the phasing-in of the Public Service Leadership Academy.  The new program will be phased in at the former Fowler High School starting with 9th grade students entering in the 2014-15 school year.
The Public Service Leadership Academy will have a Career and Technical Education focus with four career academies and eleven pathways.  Students will have the opportunity for mentorships, internships and job shadowing in a range of fields.  Through the rigorous academic program at the Public Service Leadership Academy, students will develop the self-discipline that will help them thrive in college and careers and will make them community leaders in Syracuse and beyond.
The school will have a First Responder Academy, Homeland Security Academy, Military Science Academy and an Entrepreneurial Academy.  Each Academy will have specific pathways for students and each Academy will have a higher education partner and/or an industry/agency partner.  Thus far, partners include: Bryant and Stratton College, I.B.E.W, National Grid, Onondaga Community College, Project Lead the Way, Rural/Metro, Say Yes To Education, SRC, Inc., SUNY ESF, Syracuse Police Department and Syracuse Fire Department.
“The expansion of our Career and Technical Education offerings at the new Public Service Leadership Academy brings us closer to accomplishing the goal of providing a portfolio of “gold standard” CTE programs that prepare all students to be career and college ready,” said Superintendent Sharon Contreras.  “We are extremely grateful for the support of our partners.  Our students will be provided structured apprenticeships and work-based learning opportunities that will shape their future and support their post-secondary endeavors,” added Contreras.
Students entering the First Responder Academy will have five career pathways to study: Law Enforcement/Emergency Management, Fire Rescue (FRP), Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Forensic Science/Crime Scene Investigations.  The Law Enforcement/Emergency Management Pathway ensures the readiness of the Syracuse City School District students interested in a career in law enforcement.  The Fire Rescue Pathway prepares students interested in a future career as firefighters and/or emergency medical personnel.
“Onondaga Community College is thrilled to be partnering with the Syracuse City School District on the innovative and forward thinking Public Service Learning Academy,” said Dr. Casey Crabill.  “This partnership allows OCC to continue to further deepen our relationship with the Syracuse City School District and help prepare the students for success in post-secondary education and in their careers,” added Crabill. 
Students studying to become an Emergency Medical Technician will be given the foundation to provide both basic and advanced medical care at the scene of an emergency and en route to a hospital.  The SCSD will partner with Rural/Metro Emergency Services to design this pathway.  Forensic Science/Crime Scene Investigation students will complete a rigorous and relevant four-course PLTW Biomedical Science sequence.
“I commend the work of the Board of Education and Superintendent Contreras on the proposed plan put forth today.  We are pleased to partner with the school district and help to train our future police officers and firefighters,” said Mayor Stephanie A. Miner.  “It is a tremendous opportunity for the City of Syracuse and our Police and Fire Departments to commit to our children and to help them prepare for a successful career right here in their hometown of Syracuse,” added Miner.
The Homeland Security Academy will feature a Computer Forensics Pathway, Cybersecurity Pathway and a Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT) Pathway.  The Computer Forensics Pathway will prepare students for careers in computer forensics by giving them a strong foundation in the application of investigation and analysis techniques to gather and preserve evidence from a particular computing device in a way that is suitable for presentation in a court of law.  Cybersecurity Pathway students receive a foundation in information security theory and practical skills in information assurance and security.  The school district will partner with Bryant and Stratton in the development and delivery of this program.  Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT) students will  prepare for careers in GEOINT by building strong foundations in math and science, high standards of computer skills, and broad research, writing, and analytic skills.  The SCSD will partner with SUNY ESF to ensure students have mastery of the competencies necessary to excel in this career field.  Students who complete this program and meet the criteria may enroll at SUNY ESF.
“The College of Environmental Science and Forestry is delighted to partner with the Syracuse Schools to create such a highly innovative collection of courses of study,” said SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry President Quentin Wheeler, Ph.D.  “Geospatial intelligence is rapidly growing in its importance in a wide array of planning, monitoring, and decision-making activities and such forward-looking options for students are likely to be replicated elsewhere around the country,” added Wheeler.
The Military Science Academy will include the NJROTC career pathway.  Students will gain a foundation in maritime heritage, the significance of sea power, the fundamentals of naval operations, seamanship, navigation and meteorology.  Extra-curricular activities include community service, academic, athletic, drill and orienteering competitions, field meets, flights, visits to naval or other activities, marksmanship sports training, and physical fitness training.
Students enrolled in the First Responder Academy, Homeland Security Academy and the Military Science Academy will also take four years of Arabic, American Sign Language or Spanish.  The intelligence community has been open about the need for interpreters, engineers, scientists and other professionals who speak these languages which are essential for emergency/disaster management.

The Entrepreneurial Academy will continue to feature the Cosmetology/Barbering Pathway and the Electrical Trades Pathway.  Cosmetology/Barbering Pathway students will participate in a comprehensive two year program that prepares them for careers in cosmetology.  Students will graduate with a cosmetology license.   The Electrical Trades Pathway students will participate in a two-year program that includes all aspects of residential and commercial/industrial wiring to prepare them for entry level positions in electrical trades.   Students will complete the accredited NCCER Curriculum in Core Skills and Level 1 Electrical Trades Curriculum and their path to becoming a licensed electrician.

Upon graduation from PSLA, students may attend Onondaga Community College and enroll in the following degree programs: Emergency Management, Computer Forensic Science, Criminal Justice, or Fire Protection Technology.  Onondaga Community College has articulation agreements with other colleges for these four programs of study which guarantee that associate degree graduates may transfer with junior status without loss of credit.  Graduates who meet the established criteria – e.g. grade point average (GPA) – may transfer all credits directly to the four year college.  PSLA students may also apply to programs at SUNY ESF, Bryant & Stratton and the more than 1,000 colleges and universities throughout the United States having ROTC programs.
The Public Service Leadership Academy CTE focused academies will provide all students with multiple pathways to graduation consistent with the National Career Clusters Framework and provide a coherent set of learning opportunities for development of career knowledge, academic, and technical skills, and transitions to a selected pathway.  Students at the Public Service Leadership Academy will pursue a commitment to achievement and leadership. As a college and career preparatory academy, high academic expectations, and strong community participation will help to shape the culture of the school. Through application and academy-based learning, students will be exposed to career and learning opportunities that inspire new knowledge and experiences that help them to shape their future.