Eastern Suffolk BOCES has launched a new department that aims to better prepare students for the future and will also open a regional high school in Bellport which students interested in studying the sciences can attend starting next school year.
The Eastern Long Island Academy of Applied Technology, known as “The Academy,” is a “transformation” of the career and technical education department at ESBOCES, officials said in a press release issued Tuesday. Its programs are offered to more than 1,700 students in 51 school districts and is designed to help students with college and career preparation and readiness, officials said.
Engineering, advanced manufacturing and veterinary technician courses have been added to next year’s class offerings. ESBOCES currently offers more than 30 classes in career trades and about 20 exploratory programs for students in grades 8 through 10 during the summer months.
The Academy’s programs are offered at the Brookhaven Technical Center in Bellport, the Edward J. Milliken Technical Center in Oakdale, the H.B. Ward Technical Center in Riverhead, and the Suffolk Aviation Center in Shirley.
In addition to launching The Academy, ESBOCES will also open its new STEM-based high school at its Bellport campus next school year that will have a concentration on engineering and applied science. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
The school also is partnering with SUNY Stony Brook University and Brookhaven National Labs, as well as the Long Island Matrix of Science and Technology and the Long Island STEM Hub, to develop the high school curriculum.
Last year, ESBOCES commissioned a 25-member task force to draft new programing that would meet the needs of high school students preparing for college or careers.
“We listened to students and parents and believe a newly-focused college, career and technical education-based curriculum will fill a void that has been missing in Suffolk County,” said Julie Lutz, ESBOCES deputy superintendent of educational services. “The ultimate goal is to close the gap between rigorous, relevant, STEM-based skills now necessary for success in college and the traditional academic coursework that is currently being offered at the high school level.”