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School district, businesses team up for internships

January 8, 2013

Superintendent working with local owners to help prepare students

BY Davida Siwisa James
APPLE VALLEY REVIEW

Students need to be prepared to enter college and the work force, not just get good grades, and one school official said he’s doing what he can to make that happen.

Tom Hoegerman, superintendent of the Apple Valley Unified School District, is engaged in a county-wide collaboration with other school districts and businesses to help young people achieve a mastery level of skills and knowledge to prepare them for work and higher education.

The STEAM 20-20 Program stands for science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics.

“It’s really about making sure that our students are prepared for the world of work and college on a mastery level,” Hoegerman said. “It’s no longer about just passing. The effort is to get rid of remediation.”

The initiative aims to strengthen skills in students so that whether going from high school into the work force, the military, community college, trade schools or a four-year university, the students are at a mastery level that does not require any remedial classes or training.

“We are concentrating on the four Cs: collaborate, communicate, creative and critical thinking,” Hoegerman said.

For the soft skills, educators and counselors are leading the effort to challenge students by asking, “Can you communicate with someone, can you do a 30-second introduction about yourself and the skills that you have, are you able to be at work at appropriate times, can you work collaboratively with others?”

For the hard skills, students must be able to read, write and be proficient mathematically.

The technical jobs of today require math skills well beyond basic algebra, Hoegerman said.

Educators and the superintendent met with Apple Valley business leaders and listened to the skills and proficiency levels they need for those entering the workforce.

“We want those businesses to know that we are moving forward,” Hoegerman said. “I encourage other companies that have internship possibilities to contact my office.”

Contact Hoegerman’s office at (760) 247-8001 or visit the district’s website at www.avusd.org.