Upgrades incoming for Perrydale

Classes will mirror industry standards in modern workshop

A grant will help Perrydale Schools update their shop facilities, bringing students into 21st century education.

Photo by Jolene Guzman
A grant will help Perrydale Schools update their shop facilities, bringing students into 21st century education.

PERRYDALE — A shop makeover is in store for Perrydale Schools thanks to a $372,286 Career and Technical Education Revitalization Grant.

Perrydale was one of 32 school districts to receive grants this year, totaling $10.3 million, according to the grant announcement from the Bureau of Labor and Industries and the Oregon Department of Education. It is the only district in Polk County to receive grant funding.

The state’s CTE Revitalization Grant program aims to improve school programs focused on advanced manufacturing, engineering, agricultural science, aviation, robotics, forestry, home construction/renovation and biomedical/health sciences.

The CTE Revitalization Advisory Committee selected the 32 recipients from the 64 applications received.

Christina Lorenz, Perrydale’s agricultural teacher, said the grant will help the school redesign its programs to modern standards.

She said many school “shop” programs — such as metals and woods — haven’t been updated.

“Ours in particular is one of those,” Lorenz said. “This grant is going to give us the opportunity to renovate or rebuild our existing facilities, which will then better mirror industry standards and allow our students to get a more modern education on the types of things they will be doing after graduation.”

She said the result will be lab and shop spaces where students will be focused on developing the creative skills they will need in the workplace.

“It will be a makerspace that fosters innovation and creativity,” Lorenz said. “My goal as an educator is to train them for careers that don’t exist (now). Giving them the ability to think critically and problem-solve and develop their own ideas is what I want to do.”

Perrydale’s current agricultural courses include classes on: Food and natural resources; agriculture business management; agriculture leadership; agricultural construction and design, which includes metals and woods; animal science; and middle school discovery classes.

“We plan to expand our course options, and those will reflect what the business industry in the local area want,” Lorenz said. “The hope is also that we will be able to offer more college credit courses.”

The grant funding will help improve the agriculture program areas of plant science, agricultural mechanics and manufacturing and animal science. Lorenz said the remodel is likely to begin this summer.

According to ODE, students in CTE programs graduate at a rate 15.5 percent higher than the state average.

“I’m very pleased to see the ongoing expansion of hands-on, applied learning to more schools around the state,” said Colt Gill, acting state deputy superintendent. “These programs are good for students, good for businesses and good for local communities.”

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