Howland schools consider switching to local vocational school
The administration and school board of Howland schools are investigating the possibility of switching its vocational students from the Ashtabula County Technical and Career Campus in Jefferson to the Trumbull Career and Technical Center in Champion.
John Sheets, Howland superintendent, said switching to TCTC would provide a large number of logistical and job-related benefits for students but would cost Howland residents extra money on their property taxes — about $84 per year for a $100,000 home.
The school board discussed some ideas with the public at a meeting at the high school in March that it believes are important to strengthening education at Howland. Switching from A-Tech to TCTC is one of those ideas, Sheets said.
Among the chief reasons for considering the move is that the distance from Howland to A-Tech is 38 miles, or about 41 minutes of driving time, compared to 8 miles to TCTC, or about 12 minutes.
The distance to Jefferson leads to several other issues, Sheets said, such as making it hard for vocational students to participate in extra-curricular activities back home and making it hard for them to make connections with employers and job-training activities back home.
Vocational school programs, which all public schools in Ohio are required to offer, are for junior and senior students.
“I see our kids going to Jefferson as a barrier. It puts them behind. In the seven years I’ve been here, we’ve been talking about it,” Sheets said of switching to TCTC. He believes the distance to Jefferson is keeping down the number of Howland students entering those programs.
“I believe it’s more important than ever to provide career education and career development for our students,” Sheets said, pointing to job opportunities opening up in the Mahoning Valley because of the emerging shale-gas industry.
Read more in Saturday’s Vindicator