New Year, New School

A new style of work based learning, that's what the Rockford School System is trying to offer at its newest high school. Principal Michael Cermak cuts a ribbon and a new school year begins for a new school. ACE High School's goal is to expose students to technical studies while offering them more work based learning. For example, in math class we learned that a 2X4 is really 1.5X3.5. "It's also an opportunity to try some different ways of doing education, different approaches. A little more hands-on for the kids." says school board president Nancy Kalchbrenner. "The college has great labs so let's utilize them and get kids the high tech skills." adds the new principal. ACE High is starting small. Right now there are only 6 teachers, some who are retired and others who commute from other schools. The roster includes 47 sophomores right now, but there is room for more and the school expects to grow over the next few years. But why are so many students willing to give ACE a try? "I think it'll be a great opportunity to experience new stuff. It'll take me somewhere." says Amber Austin. "I just want something better for my future" adds Karla Rubalcaba. "It's a perfect opportunity to get out and do things, and get a job next year." says Jose Tejada. Administrators say by teaching our children real-life applications while they're still in high school we can better ensure a skilled workforce here in the Stateline and that's always good for business. Once the students reach their junior year they can participate in for-credit internships and take dual-credit courses through Rock Valley College. Students we spoke with today expressed interest in careers ranging from accounting to graphic design to medical school.

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