Freshmen Students Begin New Transition to Small Learning Communities

Jackie Urrutia and Hector Montes

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This year freshmen didn’t get to just join Bowie as they have in the past. Now, they have to take either New Tech, Global Industry or, Sports Medicine to prepare for a future in one of those fields and explore multiple careers.

Mr. Nick DeSantis is the New Tech STEAM administrator and describes New Tech as a project based learning with an acknowledgement of students to be more hands on in their projects while learning a little more deeply the concepts.

New Tech is sort of pedagogical approach, which means there is a way of going about learning that is founded mostly in project based learning with the end result of trying to make students learn their topics in a little more deeper way,” Mr. DeSantis said.

Mrs. Nuri Robles is in charge of Global Industry, which has four majors: law, business, hospitality and tourism, and principles of agriculture. It focuses on getting students certified to an entry level.

“The purpose of Global Industry is to help our students get certified into an entry level position where they can begin with at least a $32,000 salary,” Mrs. Robles said.

Mr. Robert Padilla is involved in Sport Science which is a branch in the medical field.

”Our academy is Sports Science, which encompasses three different areas of medicine that are usually not offered in other schools,” Mr. Padilla said.

The three fields that they focus on in sports science is sports medicine, which is how to help injured athletes, therapy services, which focuses on helping patients gain mobility and help with injuries, and medical coding and billing focuses on the business side of medicine.

Mr. Desantis said that he used to be a teacher for many years and now he’s an assistant principal and he says that he really likes the change because, he became a teacher to be the kind of teacher he needed when he was a student. Now, he became an assistant principal to become the assistant principal that he needed when he was a teacher.

“My expectations for New Tech are to continue to perform at the high levels that we are already performing at but I would also like to improve our test scores and our students’ college and career readiness,” DeSantis said.

“I’ve actually been to another New Tech schools all over the country. Luckily enough we were able to go to 10 schools in California, Michigan and also in Austin,” Mr. DeSantis said.

Mr. Padilla said that it took a lot of different meetings to get sports science as a program here at Bowie.

“We met with parents in our neighborhood and in our community, we met with students from elementary all the way to Guillen. We met with different businesses, the leaders here in El Paso, and we researched the different job opportunities that are in medicine,” Mr. Padilla said.

“My expectations for Sports science is that it grows, I think right now all three of our academies are a little bit of a secret. Not a lot of students in middle school know since we kinda got a late start, but this particular year and going to next year we go to all of the middle schools and explain all the different programs we have,” Padillia said.

Mrs. Robles said it has been a lot of behind the scenes work to really get the students to the level they are at to be successful in their majors.

“Our students will be coming either with a licensure or certification that they will be able to apply starting their senior year. As a matter of fact, they can use their certification while they are out there doing an internship or an externship but our goal is to have our students out of the community by their senior year so that becomes a certification that they use to begin a career or it becomes a certification to use to make money while they continue their education,’’ Mrs. Robles said.

“I expect the students to keep an open mind, to keep that growth mindset that they’re willing to try, make mistakes and learn from them but also trust in the process,” Mrs. Robles said.

Mr. Padilla said that the most important learning outcome from sports science is that students will graduate with exposure to those specific fields.

“So, No. 1 is growth, No. 2 is expose as many students as possible to whatever they choose to study. So we want to give them a chance to try them and give an opportunity to study it for four years and again either they are going to like it and want to pursue it or make an informed decision and didn’t like everything that came with it and want to do something else,” Mr. Padilla said.