Thomas Jefferson

High School | Home of the Spartans

Riding to Further Education

Posted 04/28/2016 by Olivia Fullerton

The new CTE bus allows students to experience career connections. photo by Javontae Jourdain

The new CTE bus allows for career shadowing for CCT students.

TJ’s new Career and Technical Education (CTE) bus is shaking up the Center for Communication Technology (CCT) Magnet program, as students are now able to go on field trips for various classes. This allows students to gain new and positive experiences which might not have been possible before.

The new bus was brought to TJ on February 8th, and has been awaiting many trips. CCT Magnet students are now able to attend field trips relating to their courses. Although there are two busses outside, only one is available to the students and teachers involved with the CCT Magnet program; with a capacity of fourteen seats, many students will have the opportunity to go out in the world and learn more.

There are many career programs within DPS. Career programs allow students to understand and learn more about a specific field of work and TJ is fortunate to experience Career X. Career X is a program which places emphasis on CTE students learning outside of the building, as opposed to a typical school day. Spartans will be able to have hands-on learning interactions, which will benefit them now and in the future. Additionally, students are given the opportunity to experience what companies do and how they work.

Purchased with a grant from the U.S Department of Labor, the CTE bus was brought to TJ largely through the work of Danny Showers, TJ’s CTE Partnership Coordinator. Coming from the United States Department of Education, the money is filtered down to Denver for the public schools system. It has been a long process of getting the bus for TJ because of the paperwork and getting everything approved. When DPS first applied for this grant and the specialized program, “it was all just a bunch of words on paper, and hoping that someone back in Washington DC would listen and rule favorably for us,” explained Showers. Through the hard work and dedication of teachers like Showers, this dream became a reality for schools in Denver.

On March 3rd, 2016, Newspaper became TJ’s first class to use the bus as they embarked on a small journey to a media preview of the Denver Art Museum’s Samurai exhibit. Eleven people went on the trip, including Newspaper teacher Eileen Adair, ProTech Sara Andolsek, and Principal Suzanne Morris-Sherer. Morris-Sherer agreed that the bus provides an excellent opportunity for TJ students, explaining, “[it] gives our students the ability to have more learning experiences, when they come up, independent of the district transportation.”

Since Newspaper’s jaunt, other trips have occurred, with many more being planned. Recently, Showers took a group of ten students to Regis University for CYBER Security Hands on Activity. Additionally, TJ’s Photojournalism class travelled to KUVO radio station for a management interview, tour and photo opportunity of the facility, and were able to learn about the communications career field. Robotics students attended the Museum of Nature and Science to experience the Robot Revolution exhibit and 3D IMAX movie. Photojournalism students are taking a trip to the Botanic Gardens for a photo contest, and the newspaper staff will visit the Denver Post to experience their morning meeting and a tour of the newsroom.  There are several other trips in the making for various classes; with a myriad of educational events occurring throughout Denver, many students will be sure have a place on the bus soon.  

The new addition of transportation provides a vital way of having the students learn and enhance their perception of the workforce and apply the skills learned in the classroom to real life. The CTE bus at Thomas Jefferson will be remembered as an important step in furthering education.