Dist. 205 Approves Embry-Riddle Contract

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- District 205's new career academy model has another opportunity for students to earn college credit. The school board has approved a partnership with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Rockford School Board members approved the deal with Embry-Riddle tonight, that provides a new class for students interested in aerospace. It's called Principles of Aerospace Science and will teach students about the aerospace industry, including flying and design; kids will get to build their very own aircraft.

Students will also learn about the engineering and maintenance aspects as well as space flight. District leaders say it's all to help kids after high school and the community.

"Our community has over 170 companies that are related to the aviation/aeronautics industry. So we have a huge number of job opportunities available for our students and it's critical to our community that we have the talent pool to fill the needs of all of those companies moving forward," said David Carson, director of College and Career Readiness.

Students who take this class will earn six college credits that can transfer after they graduate. The class will pilot at Jefferson High School in the fall. The contract will cost the district $41,000 for the 2013-2014 school year.

An instructor still needs to be hired and he or she could come from within or outside the district, since there are qualifications to teach the course. One of those requirements is that the teacher have a pilot's license.

Also at tonight's school board meeting, members approved paying 13 school police officers an extra $50,000 in overtime, to start a half hour earlier every day. There was some concern that officers weren't able to be at school when classes started because of the addition of a seventh period. With the overtime, officers will now be there on time.

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