Between Dallas and Fort Worth is the diverse city of Grand Prairie. The school district serves almost 30,000 students with a kaleidoscope of choices. One of the eight high school options is Dubiski Career High School (@DubiskiJaguars) which is home to just over 1,620 students (from in and out of the district), about 400 average per grade.
The school is led by principal Larry Jones who is unapologetic about the lack of sports or arts. Instead, there’s a stunning, wall-to-wall career and technical education program that has something for just about everyone. And while there aren’t the usual football and baseball teams, there are other opportunities for students to compete, one being through Skills USA.
Dubiski students choose one of 15 career pathways offered through three academies: business and communications, health science and engineering, and human services and transportation. As Jones explains, “We take the kids from a traditional school—the kids in the middle—and give them a place where they can shine.”
“You have to see it to believe it” rings true for Dubiski. The environment, resources, simulators (flight simulator pictured above), and tools available immerse learners in relevant hands-on experiences.
We visited on Signing Day, where learners are celebrated for their acquisition of internships. Most of the students have internships and more than half of these are with organizations outside of Grand Prairie. The school provides transportation to the internships, while also providing six on-site enterprises.
Dubiski students run a bistro, a student store, a salon, a print shop, and a quick lube, all open to the public. In the print shop students work with the graphic communication students to develop and print all of the signage and materials for the school as well as other local businesses. Cosmetology students provide services to the community and are required to book two appointments for themselves each week. Media Technology students shoot game day videos for other local high school football teams and produce a weekly district news video. Currently, they’re working on a full-length feature film that they’re hoping to put on Netflix.
In addition to all of the pathways, each student enterprise creates an opportunity for students to learn entrepreneurship skills.
If you are able to visit, this school has some of the most knowledgeable and articulate student tour guides you’ll ever meet. They take tours of their school seriously and study all the academies and pathways in order to answer questions along their tour.
Visit Dubiski High to see high-quality career education.
For more, see:
- Starting Career Education in Middle School
- Approaching Career Readiness in Alternative Education
- How Career and Technical Education Can Inform Competency-Based Learning
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