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Cool Schools: Cassopolis Public Schools implement new curriculum

CASSOPOLIS, Mich. – There are no students in the hallways just yet, but it’s been a busy summer for Cassopolis Public Schools as staff members have been planning for the implementation of New Tech curriculum. 

"It's not going to be the off task, you know, 'Oh my goodness what's going on.' It's going to be so much excitement that they just can't wait to share it with the community,” said Renee Manno, the New Tech coach for the district. 

The district will roll out New Tech curriculum with the start of school on September 4. This year it will be implemented in grades 4 through 9. The remaining grades will be added next school year.  

"It's project-based learning, where there's a lot of community involvement, a lot of integrated curriculum, hands on learning," said Superintendent Dr. Angela Piazza.

Dr. Piazza says she hopes the new curriculum will make Cassopolis Public Schools a district of choice. 

"I want students to walk out of our doors knowing where they want to go college-wise, where they want to go career-wise and to help them to get to that end point for them so that they can meet their goals,” she said. “I want every student to know their potential and then work up to that potential so that they understand that they can do whatever they want to do and that they're prepared to do that."

One way the school plans to do that is by rolling out an Early/Middle College Program at Ross Beatty High School. Through the program, students can earn a college degree or career certificate. They will also sign on to a fifth year of high school. 

"They will be able to graduate high school with an associate’s degree. And they'll be able then to transfer to another school if they want to continue to get their bachelors,” said Brooke Brawley, the curriculum grants coordinator for the school. “Courses count for both high school and college credit and it's paid for by the school so they will leave high school with an associate’s degree that's already paid for."

This program, along with the New Tech curriculum, seeks to provide students with an experience that mirrors the real world and provides them with the tools they need to be career ready. 

It will also allow the school to work with community employers and leaders to better integrate students into the community.

"We truly believe in strong schools, strong community. Strong community equals strong schools,” said Dr. Piazza. “So we're really excited about that. So it's just an exciting time in Cassopolis all the way around."

The school plans to hold another informational meeting on the Early/Middle college program in September to give parents and students more information before applications are due in January.  

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