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Film manufacturing added to class options

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

By PAUL COLLINS - Bulletin Staff Writer

Beginning with the fall 2014 semester, juniors and seniors at Martinsville High School can begin courses in a new advanced films technology career studies certificate dual enrollment program with Patrick Henry Community College.

Officials with Patrick Henry Community College and Martinsville City Public Schools (MCPS) gave a report about that to the Martinsville School Board at its meeting Monday night.

In April, a ribbon cutting was held for the Center for Advanced Film Manufacturing, a collaboration between PHCC, New College Institute (NCI), Eastman Chemical and Commonwealth Laminating & Coating.

Martinsville High School juniors who begin the elective program this fall and continue their senior year would be able to complete eight of 10 courses (24 of 28 total credits) toward achieving the advanced films certification, according to officials and information provided. MHS seniors who begin the program this fall would be able to complete four of the 10 courses (12 of 28 total credits). Classes will be held at NCI’s new building in uptown Martinsville.

A description of the program says: “The Advanced Film Certification dual enrollment program provides students a direct pipeline into a well-established field with robust growth opportunities and worldwide reach. Thirty percent of the world’s coated and dyed film is produced in Martinsville-Henry County, and this newly created program will provide students with the skills needed to join this high-tech, world-leading industry with employers such as Eastman and Commonwealth Laminating & Coating.”

In addition, it says, students will have the opportunity to earn national industry certifications, such as the National Career Readiness Certificate and the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council’s Certified Production Technician.

It added: “Upon completion of the dual enrollment program, students may continue their education at PHCC to complete the career studies certificate and be guaranteed an interview with local advanced manufacturing employers (no guarantee of hire). Students will have also earned credits toward an associate degree in general engineering technologies.”

In other business Monday, it was announced that the school division has decided to continue holding the Martinsville High School graduation in the school’s auditorium. The MHS senior class had proposed holding graduation at the football field rather than in the school auditorium, in part because of the belief that more seating would be available.

Schools Superintendent Pam Heath said in an interview that school division officials determined that much more seating is available in the auditorium than the football stadium. Also, the old outdoor stage that formerly was used is no longer usable, so one would have to be borrowed or purchased, she said.

In other business:

• The school board recognized Cameron Cooper, a fifth-grade teacher at Patrick Henry Elementary School, as Martinsville City Public Schools’ 2015 Teacher of the Year.

“We’ve got about a $33,000 Camry for you to drive (for the summer),” said Barry Nelson of Nelson Automotive Family.

• Officials said the Spring Student Exhibition of Learning will be from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Monday, May 19, at Patrick Henry and Albert Harris elementary schools, and from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Martinsville Middle and Martinsville High schools.

• Student school board member Marnié Martin, a senior, was recognized for her two years of service on the board.

• The school board recognized the Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce, the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp. and Memorial Hospital in Martinsville for their contributions to city schools. In April, the school board approved resolutions naming those three to the Virginia School Boards Association Business Honor Roll.

• Robert Williams, chairman of the school board, praised Heath and Angilee Downing, assistant superintendent of instruction, for putting together a packet of information about the school division’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) pipeline initiative and for appearing before the Virginia Board of Education. That led to the state board approving a waiver for the school division to open before Labor Day on the basis of an innovative program. Few such waivers have been approved.

• Downing talked about the importance of summer educational activities to prevent learning loss, and she and other division officials discussed various summer learning camps and activities MCPS is offering. They include “Summer Book Sharing” (book discussions) at school media centers; STEM Space Camp; SEMAA Camp; robotics camps; and skill-focus academies.

• Sheilah W. Williams, the school division’s director of school nutrition services, reported that a My School Bucks secure payment system has been set up on the MCPS website. Parents can manage their children’s meal accounts, make online payments, view their children’s cafeteria account balances and purchases, and receive email messages.

Williams also reported that the school nutrition services program recently received a favorable and complimentary federal review.

• The board heard reports about representatives of the M-HC National Society of Black Engineers Junior Chapter attending several conferences and its robotics team placing sixth in a national competition.

• The board accepted the retirement of Jennifer Critz, clerical; and accepted the resignations of Diana Boyd, Adele Boyle, Jason Oldaker and Joseph Tyree, all teachers, and John Hatchett, teacher/coordinator.


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