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Children in Science Class

Priority Area: Educational Resources and Access

Improving the educational landscape for grades pre–K through 12th grade has been identified as a top priority by community members, who reported that bolstering education in the region would be “paramount” to ensuring Central New Yorkers can take advantage of economic opportunities, especially those Micron’s investment will bring.

The region has a higher share of students graduating high school with both career and technical education and science pathway completion compared to the state as a whole. However, the region’s average high school graduation rate of 86% is slightly lower than the state average of 87% and the national average of 89%. Additionally, graduation rate disparities exist across counties, race and ethnicity, and city and central school districts.

Through various engagement channels, community members have identified specific education priorities ranging from STEAM programs to literacy integration for pre-K through 8th graders and career exploration programs. They advocated for expanded career and technical education access for high schoolers.

To build on the region’s success of STEAM integration and career and technical education and science pathway completion graduation rates, additional STEAM resources, including paid job experiences, technical training, and access to mentors in targeted career pathways for students — especially those from historically underrepresented backgrounds — could significantly boost opportunities for high school and post secondary success, preparing students for jobs of the future and solidifying diverse talent pipelines for industry employers in the region.

Priorities and Strategies

Immediate Priority: Strengthen the integration of STEAM, literacy, and socialemotional supports programming into the K–8 education system

  • Foundational Learning Programs in STEAM: Emphasize foundational learning programs to build exposure to and excitement for STEAM topics and careers.

  • STEAM Integration: Explore new ways to incorporate science, research-based technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics into everyday education.

  • Technology Access: Enhance the availability of technology tools in the classroom for young learners.

  • Educator Resources: Increase professional development opportunities and access to resources supporting STEAM programming for teachers and instructors.

  • Literacy Integration: Support research-based literacy practices, professional development, literacy support professionals, and research-based out-of-schooltime programs.

  • Critical Skills Development: Enhance resources for support for cognitive behavioral therapy, social skills, and teamwork.

Strategies

Immediate Priority: Create career and workforce readiness opportunities in grades 8–12

  • Advanced STEAM Learning: Offer specialized research based
    STEAM programs in alignment with the STEAM school and throughout the region.

  • Career and Technical Education: Create and expand Career and Technical Education and Pathways in Technology Early College High School programming in high school settings throughout the region.

  • Career Exploration Programs: Introduce diverse career paths through hands-on experience in career exploration programming.

  • Inclusive Workforce Readiness Initiatives: Specifically target programming and supports in career exploration around socially and economically disadvantaged students.

Strategies

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