CLARKSVILLE, TN – The Clarksville-Montgomery County School System has been awarded $1.5 million from the Tennessee Department of Education through a new Innovative High School Models grant.
The program is intended to foster local community partnerships, boost student readiness and prepare high school students for jobs and careers in the community. CMCSS is one of 21 districts across the state to receive this award.
“These Innovative High School Models are another important step in connecting education to work,” said Jeff McCord, commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development. “It’s initiatives like these that help increase the prosperity of young people and the communities in which they live.”
The district works diligently to develop strategic partnerships with business leaders in the community to prepare students for today’s high-demand industries. This grant will allow CMCSS, local business and industry partners to lead innovative workforce development initiatives through the reimagining of the high school model.
“The district currently offers over 32 different career and technical education pathways to students,” CMCSS Director of career and technical education Dr. Dayna Paine said. “We are proud of the growth we have seen in this space and are thrilled that this grant will allow us to further our mission to prepare career-ready students.”
Over the two years of the grant, CMCSS and its partners will focus on initiatives that eliminate barriers for students who may not have the opportunity to engage in certifications, training and on-the-job experience in a non-traditional school setting.
In 2018, CMCSS and The Tennessee College of Applied Technology developed the Early Technical College at TCAT, providing students access to accelerate the pace of earning credentials and completing post-secondary coursework. With the new grant, the school system will expand its footprint of current offerings, additional employability skills training and job-shadowing, among other features.
CMCSS will also provide books and tools to students for the TCAT coursework free of charge.
Similar to the successful CMCSS Teacher Residency Program, the district will use grant funding to explore a grow-your-own pipeline for the CMCSS Operations Department and pre-apprenticeships with other industry leaders who already have an apprentice program.
“CMCSS has seen tremendous success in providing innovative training and teaching models through our Teacher Pipelines. We hope that similar apprenticeship models will be developed with local industries to prepare students for high-skill and high-demand careers,” said Dr. Sean Impeartrice, CMCSS chief academic officer.
Several community partners were integral in the creation of the grant, including TCAT Dickson – Clarksville Campus, Workforce Essentials, the American Job Center, the Clarksville-Montgomery County Industrial Development Board and LG Electronics.