The Plano ISD board of trustees adopted recommendations for a secondary academy at tonight’s board meeting. The academy would have a career focus and be open to students as soon as the second semester of 10th grade with a greater focus on 11th- and 12th-grade students, said Jim Wussow, assistant superintendent for academic services.

This adoption by the board is phase 1 and phase 2 will have a steering committee to flush out the recommendations and create a plan of action.

A Secondary Academy Committee, which consists of 14 PISD staff members and nine community members, determined these recommendations by looking at a variety of academy offerings that would provide specialized instruction for high-skill and high-demand jobs. These jobs include construction technology and information technology.

The committee recommended areas of focus, skills and traits needed in the workplace and the benefit for effective partnerships with industry and higher education organizations.

Focus areas to be included in the academy are construction technology, advanced manufacturing, information technology, logistics and supply chain management. These focus areas would be a specialization that could become certifications or apprentices with industry leaders in North Texas, Wussow said.

The committee then recommended each academy include specific experiences, training and direct instruction. These workplace competencies include organizational skills, professional character traits, effective communication, principles of effective management and leadership.

Next steps for the secondary academies would be to form a steering committee and continue conversations with Collin College regarding a regional facility, Wussow said.