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In the News: South San Francisco High School Adds New Classes

South San Francisco High School Adds New Classes
District to offer trades pathway, begins expanding ethnic studies
By Sierra Lopez Daily Journal staff 
June 16, 2023
A new trades program will be coming to South San Francisco High School next school year, becoming the first program to build a trades pathway into jobs like electrician, plumber, carpenter, estimator and building inspector.
Trustees during a June 8 meeting approved the new trades elective class for ninth through 12th graders. The class will eventually be the first in a three-class path toward a career in a number of jobs expected to be in high demand in the coming years.
“I appreciate this very much. I’ve been waiting for it and parents have been nagging me about it,” Trustee Mina Richardson said.
The program initially ran as a pilot during the 2022-23 school year and replaces a wood shop elective that was ended due to staffing vacancy, district staff said in a report.
It was selected after staff reviewed labor market information that indicates trade jobs will be high in demand and trade wages are typically above minimum wage, the report read.
Through the program, students will learn skills like carpentry, drywall, electrical, flooring, painting, plumbing, roofing, masonry, welding and reading blueprints as well as construction safety, foundations, framing and proper use of tools.
During the same meeting, the board also adopted an expanded ethnic studies program, keeping in step with state law requiring all high school graduates to take at least one ethnic studies course.
The course is meant to provide students with the tools to examine race, gender, class, ethnicity and other identities in the United States and offers students insight into communities not often represented in class materials to encourage social change, according to the board’s staff report.
The district has been offering the course as an elective for years and will continue to pilot the program as an elective next year but the class will be required by the state for graduation starting with the class of 2030 or students entering high school in 2026.
“These courses have been developed by SSFUSD teachers as a collaborative effort across schools and are aligned with school and district priorities as well as California Curriculum Standards,” read the staff report.