On Friday, March 18, Affton School District was honored to host Missouri Commissioner of Education Dr. Margie Vandeven, as well as Missouri State Board of Education Vice-President Dr. Vic Lenz, and State Board of Education member Michael Jones. They, along with teachers and administrators from Affton, Hancock Place, Mehlville and Oakville, visited the Affton Advanced Professional Studies Program (A@ps) to hear from our students currently in the program, as well as from one of our business partners.
This is the first year of the A@ps program, where Affton High School seniors are provided the opportunity to test-drive their future in high-skill, high-demand careers while embedded in a professional workplace for a year-long experience. Currently, 25 students are studying one of three strands: Engineering & Advanced Manufacturing, Global Business & Entrepreneurship, or Medicine & Healthcare.
With the success of the program and the increased interest from area students, in the 2016-2017 school year, A@ps will become the St. Louis Centers for Advanced Professional Studies (STL CAPS).
“We are thrilled to be partnering with other St. Louis area school districts to offer five strands of study in the STL CAPS program to high school juniors and seniors,” said Dr. Travis Bracht, assistant superintendent. “We are also excited to announce that St. Anthony’s Medical Center has come on board to host our Healthcare strand students next school year.”
Instead of learning in a traditional classroom, students are embedded in a workplace environment for approximately 2 1/2 hours each day where they gain job-specific experience and master employability skills. The strands, which include Bioscience, Business, Engineering, Healthcare, and Technology, are informed by the annual State of the St. Louis Workforce Report, with curriculum driven by business and industry partners.
“The Affton School District has been researching and developing the A@ps program for the past three years and it has always been our vision to expand the program to include other area public, private and charter districts,” said Bracht. “A key component of the program is to engage our business partners and tap into the growing number of entrepreneurs and innovators in the St. Louis area. We want to ensure that our students experience the most relevant learning opportunities possible while exploring a range of career options.”
Students from Bayless High School, Hancock Place High School, Mehlville High School and Oakville High School will be joining Affton High School juniors and seniors at sites that include St. Anthony’s Medical Center and St. Louis VentureWorks, a business incubator located in Lemay.
STL CAPS is part of the national CAPS Network founded by the Blue Valley School District in Overland Park, Kansas.
To see more photos from the Commissioner’s visit, please click here.