Boundary County School District #101 is in the process of working with a Career Technical Education (CTE) Communitywide Committee to broaden our student course offerings and career training opportunities. Our long-term goal is to develop a thriving CTE program to meet our students’ needs and the support local industrial market.

Our first meeting occurred on November 2nd with presentations from Dennis Weed, Economic Development; Sam Wolenhour, Department of Labor; Andrea Fuentes, BCSD Curriculum Director; and Jan Bayer, BCSD Superintendent. The night consisted of an overview of present labor market trends, manufactures labor/skill needs, current programs at Bonners Ferry High School, and a brainstorm session of where we go from here. Twenty-six individuals from business, education, and post-secondary attended the meeting.

The committee identified the following soft skills our students need: punctuality, trainability, personal responsibility, common sense, and pride in productivity. The hard skills identified are computer skills, technical reading/writing skills, technical mechanics, trouble-shooting, and math skills in the areas of measurement, algebra, and geometry depending on the trade. Based on input from the committee, the school district is working to adjust course offerings, graduation requirements, and integration of the soft/hard skills across the curriculum.

Our second meeting occurred on January 25th with 25 individuals virtually present. We had presentations from Christina Feliciano, Idaho Business for Education, and Michelle Stout, Idaho Department of Labor. These two individuals shared about opportunities for internships, apprenticeships, and workforce training. Our goal is to offer students at Bonners Ferry High School real world work experiences, so they are prepared to enter the workforce upon graduation.

Boundary County School is excited to announce progress in better meeting the needs of our students. The school board has approved workforce training credits. We are expanding our technical writing and math courses at the high school. We have a signed agreement with Idaho Forest Group for an apprenticeship program. We are working with our hospital to offer a CNA program, again. We are continuously working with local area businesses to expand our apprenticeship, internship, and workforce training opportunities.

Lastly, we received the approval from the Idaho State Board of Education to adjust our graduation requirements for students wanting to pursue a high school diploma focused on CTE pathways. We are so excited for our students and our community as we move forward.

Our next meeting is on April 19th. If you would like to be part of our meeting or want to explore offering opportunities to our students to better prepare them for the workforce, please reach out to Jan Bayer at jan.bayer@mail.bcsd101.com or by phone at 208-267-3146.