Hartford Plans To Restore Auto Shop Classes At Bulkeley High School
By VANESSA DE LA TORRE
March 29, 2013
HARTFORD —— After a lengthy absence in the curriculum, the school system plans to restore the automotive program at Bulkeley High School next academic year.
About 50 Bulkeley freshmen and sophomores would be able to enroll in auto shop courses in August, Superintendent Christina Kishimoto said.
"We want to start off small and strong and build it up," Kishimoto told several school board members this week. The program will be discussed with the board during budget talks this spring, she said.
School administrators are in the process of hiring an instructor and a teaching assistant, and the car lifts in the school's existing shop have already been inspected. The area is being repainted, cleaned and updated, according to the district.
Bulkeley's once-popular automotive program was discontinued during the 2006-07 school year, which was the first year of former Superintendent Steven Adamowski's tenure. Administrators did not explain why the auto shop was shut down, and when reached this week, Adamowski said he could not recall the reasons.
In any case, school leaders said they were excited to revive the hands-on program that could lead students down a career path.
"This really puts us back on the map," said Kevin McCaskill, Hartford's school design and programming director.
Federal funding for vocational and technical education would allow the district to buy tools, equipment and curriculum materials, McCaskill said. Next fiscal year, the funds may also cover costs to employ the two new staffers, he said, and any balance would be paid through Hartford's general fund.
Bulkeley staff and administrators are deciding how to select students for the courses, which have traditionally included the basics of engine work and body repair.
"I think it's a great idea to get it going," said Robert Cotto Jr., a school board member.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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