Typical high school models have prepared all students for a university experience. Data and research are becoming increasingly clear that this path may not be the path for all. In fact, there is a growing body of evidence to support that the "university for all" model of student prep can be misleading and have long lasting negative effects for many students.
Problems like high amounts of student loan debt, students who change majors, having no plan for success beyond high school, workers who settle for careers in jobs that are not in high demand with high wages, and people who feel "stuck" in unrewarding careers have all surfaced as troubling in our new economy. In a February 5, 2020 article, Forbes magazine outlined the student loan crisis further, reporting that 44.7 million borrowers owe a total of $1.56 trillion with the average student owing $32,731. (Friedmen, 2020.) It is our responsibility as educators in the 21st century to prepare our students for success in a wide array of areas. Part of this success is helping students make informed decisions about their future including what type of training they might need and where best to invest in this training. Our goal as we move forward with implementation of the academy model is that these conversations will happen throughout all four years a student is with us at DLHS. This is truly both a college and career readiness model!
In this website you will find examples of our progress towards wall to wall implementation of the academy model. These examples show the hard work that our staff has put in to reimagine and improve the student experience here at DLHS. Our hope is that these examples provide a reminder for us as educators, parents, coaches, and mentors that it is our job to help students understand that degrees are no longer enough. For success in the 21st century, students need authentic, hands-on experiences using 21st century skills that provide challenge, opportunity, and exposure to career fields in high demand-high wage areas.