Cliff Park High School can offer industry credentials now that it’s completed consturction on its new wing.
The Springfield charter school that targets dropouts and students who weren’t successful in traditional classrooms has expanded with a $1 million project that adds to its existing high school on North Limestone Street.
The expansion should signify to the community that Cliff Park is committed to helping Springfield, director Jeff Waechter said.
“We are happy to work with all the community,” he said. “We are sometimes overlooked by people who don’t know we are here but this is kind of our way of saying that we are not just here but we are ready to work with all community partners: other schools, businesses, to find success for our students and the community of Springfield.
“That is why we are here, to boost the community and to make Springfield a better place,” Waechter said.
Oakmont Education manages Cliff Park High School and other charter schools across the state. Cliff Park is paying for the project without any extra tax dollars, Waechter said. The school held a grand opening last week to show the new space off to community partners.
The 7,000-square-foot space includes four new classrooms that will offer students, career-tech classes. The hope will be that students can transition into meaningful careers, said Waechter.
Cliff Park has about 180 students.
The new space will focus on offering career training in construction and electrical fields and the nursing field.
“We looked at Department of Labor statistics that tell us in our local area what jobs are most needed,” he said. “We looked at what our students can do, and we matched them together. We don’t want to give someone training and there be nothing for them in Springfield.”
The school has partnered with Clark State for its State Tested Nurses Aid (STNA) program. In May, the school posted on its Facebook page asking the community and its students what they thought would be good programs to offer in the new wing of the school.
Fields like construction, photography, and nursing were mentioned.
The new space will also allow the school to prepare students for internships and other real-world experiences.
“We want to welcome community partners and people we work to give our students more options in the community,” he said. “People who are employers we will be partnering with so that we can provide partnerships and generally benefit all parties involved.”
Springfield has a high need for a good dropout recovery school, he said. The school wants to be a positive force to advance students’ lives, Waechter said.