SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Pioneer Valley students were able to get an early jump on putting their schedule together for the 2020-21 school year on Thursday.
About 2,000 students took part in the school's first-ever "Elective Exploration Day."
The 95-minute long event allowed students in 9th through 11th grades to experience first-hand what types of electives are offered at the school.
"It gives an opportunity for all the elective teachers to display what they do in their classes, so that when kids come through before they do their scheduling, they can actually see first-hand what they might do in class, rather than just read it off a paper," said vice principal Greg Dickinson. "There's lot of opportunities. Our goal is for our kids to not just be college ready, but career ready as well."
Dickinson added the growth of Career Technical Education and Career Pathways has led to new course offerings and a redesign of previous ones.
"A lot of our push right now is Career Technical Education and these pathways that exist, where there's a two-course sequence that they take," said Dickinson. "Year one, it's like an introduction or a concentrator, and the second year is a capstone or a completor. Within that, it's trying to expose them to a real life job skills that they can use. A lot of these courses will also matriculate with Hancock College and some of our classes also offer Hancock credit."
During their time inside the school's gymnasium, students were exposed to wide variety of elective classes, including forensics, culinary arts, agriculture mechanics, theater arts, apparel construction and design, gaming technology, web design, mechanical drawing and many others.
"I think the diversity helps students find out what they want to do and what they can find their passion in," said junior Marc Cabeliza. "I think that's pretty important. These electives are a way for them to basically learn about other things they can join and fall in love with."
"I think it's really helpful to get exposed to everything," said junior Marissa Arias. "You get to see a little glimpse of everything, so something like this can really help them to kind of jump start what they want to do in their future years of high school."
"I think it's really helpful for them to be able to get exposed to everything," said junior Marissa Arias. "You get to see a little glimpse of everything, so something like this can really help."
Many students were excited to learn about courses offered at the school they were unfamiliar with.
"I have never really been familiar with something like the culinary class or how much the industrial arts group does, so it was definitely surprising to see that because I had no idea that they did that, so it was really cool to see that," said Arias.