• Cultivating College & Career Readiness Through Real World Problem Solving

    Posted by Allison Huie on 1/24/2020
    JFK Y-Plan
    12th grade students in the Information Technologies Academy at Kennedy High School came together today to pitch their solutions to a real-world problem posed by a local client. For this project, the City of Richmond's newly formed Department of Children and Youth posed this question to the students, "How can the newly created Department of Children and Youth best serve all young people in Richmond?" Student projects involved a student-developed survey, mapping and analysis of neighborhood assets and resources, and resulted in long and short-term recommendations for the Department of Children and Youth, civic partners, and community organizations. Solutions posed by students ranged from providing targeted information directly to student populations in multiple languages to establishing gaming-focused youth recreation centers throughout our community. 
    Y-Plan 2
    This opportunity for students to apply the career and technical education skills they've gained through participation in Kennedy's IT Academy to solve a real-world problem came about through the IT Academy's partnership with the Y-plan, a project sponsored by UC Berkeley's Center for Cities and Schools. Y-plan is a unique, award-winning educational strategy that empowers young people to tackle real-world problems through project-based civic learning experiences. 
    Y-Plan 3
    Through participation in the IT Academy at John F. Kennedy high school, students have access to this and other work-based learning opportunities that allow them to apply the skills they learn via their career and technical education classes while they explore and prepare for future college and career paths. In WCCUSD, students have the option to participate in one of 19 different college & career pathway programs located in our high schools throughout the district. Each of our pathway programs involve a multiyear sequence of courses that integrates core academic knowledge with technical and occupational knowledge to provide students with a pathway to postsecondary education and careers. 
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  • Alumnus returns to PVJHS Law and Justice Academy

    Posted by Allison Huie on 9/23/2019

    2015 Pinole Valley High School graduate, Garrett Dibble, returned to his Alma Mater on Friday to share his experience as an Officer with the Hercules Police Department with students in the Law and Justice Academy. 

    Ofc. Garrett Dibble

    Ofc. Dibble credits his experience in the PVHS Law and Justice Academy and the Police Explorers program while he was in high school as critical events that helped set him on the path to becoming an officer. 

    At just 22 years old, Ofc. Dibble's candid presentation struck a chord with his rapt audience. The teens were eager to ask him questions and listened intently as he shared with joy his experience. Ofc. Dibble regaled the room full of Juniors with captivating tales about his adventures on the police force and fielded questions from students about everything from his preparation in the Police Academy to what it's like to be involved in a high speed chase, to his take on the issue of police brutality.   This talk was an amazing opportunity for students to learn about the law enforcement career field first-hand from a near-peer. 

    L & J Academy emblem

    This presentation was the culminating activity in the PVHS Law and Justice Academy's annual Reverse Job Shadow event.  With the help of Junior Achievement and various industry partners, students had the opportunity to explore possible career paths and begin to plan steps towards them.  The popular event is a highlight of every Junior in the Law and Justice Academy's year. 

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  • Pathway Spotlight


    Summer 2016 Interns

  • Jonathon’s Internship Story

    Posted by WCCUSD on 12/7/2016

    jonathan-ncIn my fourth week at Nerd Crossing, I had to do the most daunting task I had ever had to in my time there. I had to do Angelica’s job all by myself because she went to go have fun on her day off. I answered phones as usual, and also did some basic admin stuff. It all seemed pretty easy until a customer called and asked me to schedule a house call and I didn’t have anybody to ask questions to. I had to quote prices all by myself I had to check the support calendar all by myself I had to schedule a non conflicting appointment for our SUPER BUSY technicians. I had to take into account that the customer also had a busy schedule and had to play a logistical game of tetris to make sure that the customer was taken care off, and that was just one customer.

    After that the phones would not stop ringing, meanwhile Jim asked me to fix up a couple of computers that were waiting in the lab. So I spent my day doing my best to juggle Angelica’s insanely difficult job whilst attempting to fix the broken computers in the lab. It was a really great learning experience for me on the admin side of things. It helped me to realize that there is a reason why you hire certain people for certain jobs. It also taught me that I can handle the load and that made me very happy. I have to say I am nowhere near as good nor as fast as Angelica however I can get the job done.

    In week 4 I also got my encryption flyer design up to par then be used for the upcoming Encryption email campaign. Upon finishing the final design, Lauren my marketing manager, was proud and happy enough with my designs to ask me to do another design for her. This design would be the new banner for the Nerd Crossing company. After some self reflection on the assignment I realized that this banner is one of the faces of the company and the fact that my employers are comfortable and trustworthy enough in my graphic design skills to let me create a face of the company provides more self assurance than I could ask for.

    I am happy to be one of the Interns working here at Nerd Crossing this summer. It continues to be an extremely rewarding and educational experience.

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  • Junior Achievement & Pinole Valley Law Academy's Reverse Job Shadow

    Posted by WCCUSD on 9/27/2016 5:15:00 PM

    The Pinole Valley High School's Law Academy had a great start to the new school year with a wonderful work-based learning opportunity on their campus! Thanks to Junior Achievement, the Contra Costa Dicstrict Attorney's Office, Contra Costa Public Defenders, Los Medanos College EMS, California Highway Patrol, and the San Quentin State Prison Sargent and Officers, the students got to learn about the process of the judicial system for drunk driving, texting and driving and much more.

    This day's event included sporting "drunk goggles" and operating a bicycle to understand the impact of drinking and driving, what the process of getting pulled over is like, what the impending trial entails, and much more. The students had a wonderful time and learned a great deal.

    Learning events such as this could not be possible without our partners and volunteers. (This event had 16 volunteers and one K-9!) We are forever grateful for your dedication to helping our students learn about Law and Justice, and for improving their chances at being successful after their high school graduation.

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  • Richmond NFTE Bizcamp 2016

    Posted by WCCUSD on 8/15/2016

    We’re so happy to announce that two talented Richmond students, Kaleabe Moges from De Anza High School and Makeal Surreal from Deer Valley High School, have won the latest round of the NFTE’s Bizcamp competition. They will be representing the Bay Area in the final round of the NFTE’s National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge in New York City on October 6th. These two young men will be joining the 40 top youth entrepreneurs from around the nation to compete for $25,000 in awards. Congratulations to these talented West Contra Costa students. We wish them the best of luck in the final round of this prestigious competition!

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  • El Cerrito Media Academy

    Posted by WCCUSD on 7/6/2016

    Not only do the students at El Cerrito High School have access to a fully operating broadcasting studio, video recording and editing equipment, animation software, and much more, but the teachers involved in the Media Academy have made sure that they always have fresh and engaging experiences. Here are some of the work-based learning opportunities these students have experienced:

    • There is at least one speaker per week to talk to the Media Academy students. Speakers are usually experts in Media fields who talk about their experiences and how they achieved their goals, as well as experts in other fields who are then interviewed by the students. The learning thread of these interviews then funnels the students’ experiences back to broadcast journalism.
    • Students frequently take tours of different businesses that are involved in Media, such as Pandora, public radio stations and advertising agencies. However, the students don’t just meet workers involved in the Media field. El Cerrito High School teachers make sure to introduce the students to those in Management, Finance, Engineering, and other non-Media fields.
    • Annually, El Cerrito High School and their radio station produce a massive World Music Festival, with 15,000 people in attendance. While students are recruited from the whole school, Media Academy students are heavily involved.

    Students have many engaging and inventive projects to work on throughout the year. A few of these projects are:

    • Creating compass roses using skills they’ve learned in geometry
    • Creating a full-year calendar that includes 1,100 design elements
    • An in-class Shark Tank. Students must ask pointed question to decide if they want to invest in other students’ “startups”
    • Students act as an ad agency, including typography, copywriting, design, and thoroughly communicating the message they need to convey
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