A Message to Students:
Did you know that in high school you will have the opportunity to be in a career-related pathway? Based on your interests, you would be enrolled in classes related to a particular sector, like health, law, teaching, engineering, technical theater, performing arts (choral) or IT.
The school district understands how important it is for our students to be prepared for college and/or a career, and we think that focusing your class work on real world skills and projects is a key part of your education. If you sign up to be in any of our career pathways, you will have an opportunity to get a head start on career exploration, to make and revise your own college and career plan each year, to visit places of employment, to work directly with business partners on school projects, to have a mentor, and to have an opportunity after junior year to work in an internship.
- De Anza High School
- El Cerrito High School
- Pinole Valley High School
- Richmond High School
De Anza High School Health Academy: The De Anza Health Academy, led by Fatham Riordan-Ng, a former medical professional and healthcare instructor at Heald Business College, prepares students for health careers primarily in the patient care field and emergency medicine, as well as with employment soft skills and early college credit. With a focus on project-based learning and hands-on training in their new mock patient care center on campus, the vision of the De Anza Health Pathway is to provide students with the skills they need to succeed in both their college and career. The academy has a strong partnership with Contra Costa College and also offers students early college credit.
The De Anza Health Academy also specializes in life long medical and preventative care, which makes it truly a unique pathway for its students.
De Anza High School Information Technology Academy: The IT Academy offers students a choice of focus on internet engineering or website design. Students take one course in each, and then decide which to focus on for their senior year. De Anza IT students often take a course in videography as well. Students have had access to a wide variety of job experiences as part of their curriculum or extra-curricular work, both inside the district and for community and business partners. The De Anza High School Information Technology program is run by Ben Gill, who has years of industry experience and has helped hundreds of students join the STEM field.
De Anza High School Law Academy: The De Anza Law Academy prepares students for law-related careers. It focuses on constitutional law, case briefing, and broadly transferable skills in the areas of critical thinking, research, clear writing, citing of evidence, and oral communication and persuasion. The law academy provides students with training in soft job skills and career and college planning. Its dynamic advisory board provides students with many opportunities to interact with and get feedback from professionals in various fields of law and law enforcement.
El Cerrito High School Information Technology Academy: The El Cerrito Information Technology Academy is a small learning community that prepares students for careers and pursuits in the vast field of technology by building technical skills through project-based learning, collaborative design and production, and interaction with industry professionals. Students gain proficiency in Adobe software including Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Illustrator, Premiere, 3D modeling with Google Sketchup, HTML, CSS, and WordPress. Students also learn to program in Scratch and Ruby as well as develop experience with computer hardware and networking. Through work-based learning students develop professional skills and a portfolio.
El Cerrito High School Media Academy: In the El Cerrito Media Academy, students become adept in journalistic skills in various media forms, creating media in typographic print, video, photographic, and web-based interactive formats. The Media Academy is focused on developing strong communicative skills in students, preparing them for both the college and career demands of the post-secondary world.
Kennedy High School Information Technology Academy: The Kennedy Information Technology Academy prepares its students simultaneously with web design and information systems design and management skills. Through strong industry and college partnerships, it is able to provide students with career skills and early college credit to prepare students for post-secondary success.The Pinole Valley High School Spartan Academy of Green Engineering: The Pinole Academy of Green Engineering is a group of students interested in experiencing how new technology is designed. Students prepare to address the technological challenges of the 21st century by learning the group design process, orthographic and isometric sketching, coding and constructing VEX robotics, and by learning of and using countless other tools and tests that are employed by many professionals in a wide variety of engineering fields. Students travel to regional high-tech firms to tour their facilities or to shadow engineers at their work. They hear from many more professionals in engineering when they visit the campus and assist and evaluate student capstone projects. From inter-campus competitions to reaching out to younger students considering joining our academy, engineering is a tight-knit, lively group that loves to learn about the latest gadgets and to step up to our world’s new technological challenges. It is led by Angela Johnson, who worked in the engineering field before becoming a teacher. Engineering students also have an opportunity to be part of a competitive robotics team after school.
Pinole Valley High School Health Academy: The Pinole Valley Health Academy is led by Will Heyward. It provides students with a foundation in body systems, followed by courses in bio-medical technology and medical interventions. Many students also take a sports medicine elective. They strongly believe in providing students with career related skills in health, as well as soft skills and interactions with professionals through project-based learning. The health academy has a strong partnership with Merritt Medical College, Contra Costa College, health facilities, and medical research companies.
Pinole Valley High School Law & Justice Academy: The Pinole Valley Law & Justice Academy prepares students for various law and law enforcement related careers, with many opportunities to interact with professionals in professional settings. Some students participate in a county-wide mock trial competition, and all students engage in project-based learning. Soft job skills are emphasized through a strong partnership with Junior Achievement, and college success is emphasized as a goal through an opportunity to earn early college credit. It is led by Patricia Blades, who brings experience from past work as a probation officer to her teaching position. She has been leading the academy for many years, and runs a well-developed program.
Richmond High School Engineering Academy: The Richmond Engineering Academy prepares students for engineering careers beginning with foundational courses in Introduction to Engineering Design (grade 9) and Engineering Principles (grade 10). Then in 11th grade students take Computer Science Software Engineering, and end in 12th grade with Civil Engineering and Architecture. In this way, they arm students with a variety of engineering skills aimed at a broad sector. Students have the opportunity to use a 3-D printer and a full fabrication lab. The Engineering The academy uses project-based learning and is supported by English and social science teachers who teach writing and history through an engineering lens. The RHS Engineering academy highly values its engaged partners who help to provide students with industry feedback, interaction, and summer experiences and internships. Engineering students also have an opportunity to be part of a competitive robotics team after school.
Richmond High School Health Academy: The Richmond Public Health Academy gives students a strong medical foundation, beginning in grade 9 with medical biology, moving in grade 10 to a course in public health, and then diving deeper into one aspect of public health, that of mental health and illness and public policy in that area in grade 11. In grade 12, students take two courses for early college credit: an intensive health careers course and life skills course, both of which put students on a trajectory for post-secondary success.
The Richmond High Health Academy provides students with real-life project based learning through community-focused service learning projects, as well as through numerous industry partnerships that enable students to develop professional communication and other career soft skills.
Richmond High School Law Academy: The Richmond Law Academy prepares its students for careers in law and government. It begins by establishing a foundation through an Introduction to Law class that addresses the Bill of Rights and the structure of the various levels of courts. In Grade 10, students learn the fundamentals of proper handling of crime scenes and evidence, as well as crime scene investigation through a course in forensic science. In the upper grades, students proceed to a curriculum more focused on the critical thinking, and persuasive argument and presentation of evidence through mock trials in their courtroom classroom, and case briefing both for criminal trials and appellate trials.
The law academy additionally provides students with training in soft job skills and career and college planning. Its dynamic advisory board provides students with many opportunities to interact with and get feedback from professionals.
Richmond High School Media Academy: The Richmond Multimedia Academy offers students many opportunities beginning with a foundation in learning the skills of creating many types of digital media. It is followed by an advanced photography class so that students become adept at creating images that are well composed for a given purpose. Finally, a student in multimedia in 12th grade ends with a capstone course in advanced media journalism, where the focus is on sharpening the journalistic and writing skills of students. The vision of the multimedia teachers is that our students leave us well prepared for a variety of media careers and skills that will serve them well in whatever their chosen post-secondary path.