During the most recent Platte County R-3 Board of Education meeting, Sandra Henshaw shined a light on the success of Northland CAPS (Center for Advanced Professional Studies), located in Kansas City.
The program has students from Platte County, as well as schools through the Kansas City metro area. Lathrop is the newest addition to the group with Liberty, Kearney, Excelsior Springs, Smithville, as well as the Park Hill and North Kansas City school districts.
There are only 39 such programs in the United States, spread between 12 states and 84 school districts.
The program is for juniors or seniors that are on track to graduate and provides them with real-world opportunities in businesses and industries in the region.
“It is a chance to test drive those careers prior to graduation,” said Henshaw, executive director of Northland CAPS, which has an office near Zona Rosa. “It is profession-based learning. They learn about professional skills that come with a hand shake to learning how to tie a tie.”
During the August board meeting, Platte County students Dakota Simmons, Peter Doole, Peyton Itao and Kaitlyn Dubreuil talked about the program.
Students have a variety of choices when it comes to exploring careers: digital media and design; engineering and advanced manufacture; global business and entrepreneurship; global logistics; medicine and health care and technology solutions.
The medicine and health care field has expanded to four locations with the addition of the St. Luke’s Multispecialty Clinic on Highway 152/Shoal Creek near Liberty.
The digital and global businesses centers are housed at Northwest Missouri State University-Kansas City in Gladstone. The technology is at Cerner at Riverport in Randolph and global logistics is based out of the Ambassador Building near KCI Airport.
Students can earn dual credit for internships from Metropolitan Community College through the program. Of the 445 credits earned last year, 52 were from Platte County students.
When the Northland CAPS started in 2013-14 there were 28 students and last year the number grew to 374. There are 33 students this year from the R-3 district, down from last year’s 38, but the second-highest total in the past six years.
Henshaw noted there were Platte City businesses that took part in the program last year, but none had Platte County students working as interns.
The board approved the purchase of nearly $40,000 in new computers from Staples. The bid includes the purchase of 31 desktop computers, 32 monitors — an additional monitor for the teacher station — and accessories such as graphic cards and cables for one of the three PCHS business labs.
Other bids were $41,8198 from Firefly Computers and $45,861.47 from CDW-G.
Another item that will be purchased is a PLS 6.75 universal laser engraving/cutting platform for $20,000 from Innovation Education Systems.
Laser Systems & Support ($21,765) and Epilog Laser ($26,370) also bid on the project.
A third purchase will be a Pro-Link Ultra heavy-duty diagnostic elite kit for $15,168.861 from Snap-On Industrial for NCC.
All three will be purchased utilizing a 75 percent/25 percent Missouri Enhancement Grant — the Vocational Hanson Grant. Of the $75,000 that will be spend, the district will be on the hook for only $18,735 — which was budgeted.
The delay on the purchases was waiting on the approval for the grant.
Odd and ends
A public hearing was held to approve the 2018 property tax rate at $5.0193, down 2.5 cents from the 2017 rate.
The district is forging ahead with the sale of the former East Platte Elementary School property for $150,000, a deduction of $25,000 from the original price agreed upon. Superintendent Dr. Michael Reik noted there were issues with hazardous material at the former school that closed after the 1995-1996 school year. The building and 22.9 acres located at 12220 NW Skyview Avenue was originally sold to Cachorro Cattle Company, based out of Mountain Home, Texas, in June.
The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority sold a surplus bus to the Northland Career Center for $10. The bus, a 2007 Gillig with 463,699 miles, will be used bystudents in the diesel technology program.
Approved a contract with Terracon for asbestos inspection services for the next three years for $900. A contract with Schendel Pest Services was also awarded.
Surplus property listed for August included 1995 Chevrolet Kodiak truck from NCC and risers and three lunch tables from Pathfinder Elementary.