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Medford looking to revamp vocational program

Posted by Jarret Bencks  April 24, 2013 09:12 AM

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The Medford School Committee is looking into ways it can revamp the city's vocational program, and could expand its curriculum in coming years, Superintendent Roy Belson said.

Medford Vocational Technical High School has seen enrollment drop slightly over the last 10 years, from about 260 in the early 2000s to around 220 in recent years, Belson said. Medford schools also pay tuition for Medford students attending Minuteman Vocational High School in Lexington who opt to go there over utilizing Medford's vocational program, he said. 

"Minuteman has taken more and more youngsters from us over the years. It is a financial strain," he said. "We'd like to instead be investing that money in our own program."

New classes in robotics, environmental sciences, and biotechnology are among the changes being considered, Belson said. Restructuring courses in order to allow students to also enroll in advanced placement classes at Medford High School is also a possiblity under review, he said. Any significant changes would likely be implemented for the 2014-2015 school year.

The School Committee plans to meet with officials from Somerville and Cambridge vocational programs Wednesday, April 24 at Medford High School.

The current director of Medford Vocational Technical High School, William Mahoney, is scheduled to retire this summer. A search for his replacement is underway, Belson said.

Jarret Bencks can be reached at bencks.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on twitter @JarretBencks.

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