Examples of program accomplishments are these students who passed their first CTE Exam on their 9th day of school.

Examples of program accomplishments are these students who passed their first CTE Exam on their 9th day of school.

Even though scholastic awards help students in many ways, in 2014, John Padget and Jacob Dekker of Key West generously decided to add in cash incentives for students in Career Technical Education (CTE). The program was initially open to middle and high school students throughout the Keys although that has expanded to lower grades.

The most recent awards were announced in a press release from Monroe County Schools. “Nearly 200 Monroe County School District students received incentive checks from Monroe COMPUTE$ for being among the first students to complete IT industry certifications during the first quarter of the school year. The district’s middle schools were responsible for the bulk of certifications in Digital Literacy programs, such as ICT and IC3 Digital Tools.”

Superintendent Theresa Axford praised their accomplishments. “Our students set a new district certification record during the first nine weeks, more than doubling last year’s first-quarter total.”

Students are awarded from $50-500 depending on the type of certification and there are also $250 awards for passing Advance Placement Computer Science end-of-course exams.

The current pledge states, “Monroe COMPUTE$ has pledged over $100,000 in incentives to students earning CompTIA, Adobe, Autodesk, QuickBooks, and Digital Literacy certifications in grades 4-12.

The program has contributed to the exponential growth of students taking computer science courses in Monroe County.”

Michele Barry, a Miami native who has been at Key Largo School for twenty-three years, transitioned into K-8 Exceptional Student Education (ESE) about ten years ago. As a Support Facilitator/Case Manager, teaching duties can be varied. In co-teaching for two, 4th Grade classes with ESE students this year, there is also a computer class with 6-8 graders. “Career Technical Education (CTE) provides students of all ages with the academic and technical skills, knowledge and training necessary to succeed in future careers and to become lifelong learners.”

The dedicated teacher wrote a paper this past summer discussing challenges of the program.

“During our summer break, students were offered the opportunity to earn certifications in a variety of computer related fields. Many of the students who enrolled soon decided they didn’t want to spend summertime studying tech terms and taking practice exams. Only four of Monroe’s students persevered. Key Largo School would like to recognize the hard work and success of two of our students: Katelynn Simpson, a 7th Grader, who took her very first CTE exam and earned certification in IC3 Spark, and Pablo Marin, who is no stranger to CTE. Pablo had already earned his MOS, Photoshop, and his first, Microsoft Technical Associate (MTA) certification last school year. In July, Pablo successfully passed his 2nd MTA, Windows Operating System Fundamentals. We are grateful to have the Monroe Computes program.”

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