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College and Career Readiness through Blended Learning

Career Readiness
Career Readiness

Cynthia Laroche

Cynthia Laroche, Part II

by Joan Reissman

When you’ve been working with students for a long time, you meet many different personalities. Once in a while, a student stands out. Cynthia Laroche is one of those students.

I first met Cynthia in 2013 when she was a student at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School. Cynthia had only been in America since 2011. When she came here, she spoke English, but it wasn’t her first language. Her father was already in America, but she had to wait a while until her mother could join the family in the United States.

JFY supporters sweeten student futures

Ice cream sundaes seal the deal

by Gary Kaplan

The end of the year is a time for reflection and assessment. Looking back over these past two years, we have much to be grateful for. We have survived the greatest disruption in memory and students are now enrolling in JFYNet college and career readiness at a pre-pandemic pace. We are in this positive position thanks to the unwavering loyalty of our supporters.

“It takes a village,” the adage says, but a village needs villagers to sustain it. In our village, the most important citizens are the students. I think of a young man named Andre with whom I indulged in ice cream sundaes a few weeks ago. We were celebrating the end of the first semester of our early college program. He had passed his college course and was looking ahead to the next semester and beyond.

Inland Steel Revisited. Is education keeping pace with automation?

Is education keeping pace with automation?

by Gary Kaplan
photo by Matthew Kaplan

Skills and the Workplace: The Lesson of Inland Steel was our Labor Day post in 2016. Its two main themes are even more relevant five years later: technology is transforming the skill content of work; and post-secondary education or training is necessary to be competitive in the labor market.

Deeper Learning, A springboard to recovery and acceleration

A springboard to recovery and acceleration

by Eileen Wedegartner

As schools prepare to open their doors next month, hopes are high for a return to a “normal” year where students can be in school consistently for face-to-face learning.

From the President down to parents and students, everyone recognizes the value inherent in the school experience. Schools are not only temples of learning– they also provide social experiences, extra-curricular activities, food sustenance, and a safe haven.

Early College Serves Students and Employers

by Eileen Wedegartner

Lowering the barriers to opportunity

The need for a workforce with strong technical skills continues to grow in Massachusetts. Boston’s skyline, the Seaport, Kendall Square, Longwood, Kenmore Square and the spreading biotech campuses along 95 and 495 give tangible evidence of this need. The drivers of the Massachusetts economy demand workers who have strong skill sets.

Kevin McCaskill of Madison ParkTech Voc

Pandemic exposed a lack of access to technology for some Boston families.

DECEMBER 2020 PODCAST – This month’s podcast is the second part of the conversation between Executive Director Gary Kaplan and Kevin McCaskill, the Executive Director of Madison Park Technical Vocational High School, the only Vocational High School in the Boston Public School system. Mr. McCaskill has been working in education for over 30 years and between them, Gary and Mr. McCaskill have close to 75 years of experience advocating for public education. In this episode, they discuss how the current pandemic exposed a lack of access to technology for some Boston families, how progress and change continues to work its way across the country, and the most important types of leadership needed in our schools to ensure they provide the best possible education to our students.

Skills for the post-pandemic economy. Is college still necessary?

by Eileen Wedegartner, JFYNet Learning Specialist

Is college still necessary?

The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed many people to decide to take a year off from higher education. The ballooning price of college tuition combined with the uncertain job outlook for recent college graduates make this decision understandable. But a longer view of the value of a college degree, beyond the immediate crisis, might lead to a different calculation.

JFYNet Connects Learning to Goals

by Joan Reissman, JFY Learning Specialist

Standards-based instruction includes MCAS, SAT, grade-level skills

MCAS is back on the schedule for the current school year. Teachers are struggling to cope with remote and hybrid learning models, and to comprehend the impact of six months’ learning loss. JFYNet is adapting its connected learning help them meet the compound challenges of this shortened and complicated school year.

Cracks in the Bedrock, The destabilizing effects of inequality

by Gary Kaplan

History doesn’t repeat itself, Mark Twain observed, but it often rhymes.

Because of our peculiar history, the current calls for redirection of police funding to social programs fall with a familiar cadence at JFYNetWorks.

We are often asked what JFY stands for. It stands for Jobs For Youth, the original name of the nonprofit organization. Jobs For Youth was founded in 1976 with a Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention grant from the US Department of Justice. Our original mission was to help high school dropouts find jobs. Low-income youth were dropping out of high school at rates rising toward 20% nationally and 40% in the cities. In the early 1970s the Nixon Administration, predating Reagan, thought the best social program was a job. And so, our history began as a juvenile justice delinquency prevention program.