North Lake’s Agriculture and Technology program will be seeing some big changes next fall when students report to school, thanks to Measure 98 funds which were approved by the Oregon voters in 2016 and set aside for Career Technical Education and High School Dropout Prevention. A collaborative team including Chad Waldron, the current Agriculture Teacher and FFA Advisor, School Administration, high school staff and the Agriculture Advisory Committee developed a four phase plan.
The first part of the plan was to established a much needed Alternative Education program in the old annex building. Brad Chastain was hired to head up the program. The program has been very successful. Mr. Chastain sees up to 17 students every day in an effort to help students stay on track, or get back on track to graduate. This year the Alt-Ed program helped students earn 75 high school credits.
North Lake is now in phase two of the plan, which includes vocational education opportunities for students. The Vocational Career Center, a 1,800 square foot pole barn frame was constructed this spring north of the existing shop. Chastain will be teaching two vocational classes in the afternoon and will use the opportunity to finish the building.
Waldron will continue to teach the traditional agriculture classes including Jr. High Shop, Natural Resources, Animal Science, Plant Science, AutoCAD and Metal and Wood shop, as well as be responsible for the lion share of the FFA duties. Chastain will be responsible for the FFA Ag. Sales and Marketing teams, and will teach two class periods of Agricultural Business and Vocational Careers, focusing on job skills and construction trades. Eventually the building will reach phrase three of the plan and will consist of six separate modules where students learn and practice career technical skills: Electrical, Framing, Roofing, Plumbing, Drywall/Paint and HVAC.
By 2021, Chastain and Waldron envision the program to evolve into a full-on, self- sustaining entrepreneur business model where students design, plan, build and market small homes to address poverty and homelessness in the North Lake community.