Innovation Pathways Questions

Sarah Irish and Mia Peterson

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In the upcoming years, Scituate High School’s freshmen will have a truly unique opportunity to enroll in a program called “Innovation Pathways.” Although it will not be launched for another couple of years, the program will allow students an extra chance to explore their specific interests. 

The main objective of the Innovation Pathways Program is to give students an opportunity to enroll in a class that will give them more experience for their potential career paths. It will essentially help students learn what they are interested in before going to college.

 There will be three different “planned pathways” offered when the program first starts at SHS. They include Information Technology, Healthcare, and Manufacturing Technology. These pathways have already been preselected because they align with courses here at SHS. 

For example, students interested in the pathway of Healthcare will take classes like Anatomy. Patrick Newton, the Science Department Chair at Scituate High School, who previously worked at Hanover High School, brought this new idea to Scituate. “We identify groups of courses that build on a theme with particular skills, ways of thinking, and that connect to some industry, some employable, job field,” said Newton. As these students start to realize what they may be interested in they will have their opportunity to switch out into another class. 

These classes within each pathway would be an addition to their normal school day and workload. While these students would be choosing to take on more work, it would be a rewarding process learning earlier in their education what they may want to study in college and get a job in. Newton hopes this helps students learn what interests them, saying, “At the very least an idea on yes, I really want to continue to pursue this or I really don’t want to continue to pursue this before people are potentially spending tens of thousands of dollars on college to find that out.”

If more students begin to join these classes, more teachers will be needed to teach them, which may be difficult to find, especially during the school day. The three pathways that have already been created have all been identified by the state, specifically Mass Hire, whose focus is on job creation and job training. These three industries have been identified in our region as the number of jobs will be increasing in the upcoming years.

As stated before, Newton was part of the beginning process at Hanover High School, but he left before it was up and running. When he came to Scituate, he wanted students to have the same opportunities as other schools and without having to go to a Vocational School, so instead he is bringing those classes here. How the program plans to run at Scituate will be a little bit different than other schools, but it is a start and is all part of the process to give more opportunities to the students. As this progress of bringing the pathways to Scituate continues, Newton is working to finalize this program in order to get it up and running. This program is scheduled to happen within the next two years.