Youth and adults at the Central Vermont Career Center (CVCC) have been working together to build a more connected community, as well as to bring more student voice to decision making and learning. CVCC is located on the same campus as Spaulding High School in Barre, and students come from all over the central Vermont area to take classes in automotive technology, digital media arts, natural resources and sustainability, emergency services, cosmetology, baking and culinary arts, plumbing and heating, and medical professions.
Since students come from several different towns, and attend different programs, many youth and instructors expressed that the community can feel somewhat disconnected, and the Youth and Adults Transforming Schools Together (YATST) team has been working on addressing this concern. The group has also explored the “Four Rs” of 21st century education: relationships, rigor, relevance, and shared responsibility, and how these play out in the experiences of youth and adults at CVCC. The team developed a survey, collected data, and selected three areas in which they want to partner together with the staff at the career center to make positive change: classroom management, empowering youth to have a voice in decision-making, and helping to address students’ fears of failure.
Their next meeting will take place in May, when the team will dig deeper into their concerns and hopes, and brainstorm and identify action plans that they would like to explore. Harry Frank, UP Program Director notes the “caring and candid” spirit of the students and staff, and how many of them have said that they want their peers at CVCC to feel cared about and validated. Terrific work, CVCC youth and adult team!