By Camila Perez Solis
Comsewogue High School’s work-based learning program is generating momentum, with students taking classes that lead them toward their desired professions.
The U.S. Department of Education defines work-based learning, or WBL, as “the alignment of classroom and workplace learning; application of academic, technical, and employability skills in a work setting; and support from classroom or workplace mentors.”
This innovative approach for preparing students for the real world is gaining traction at Comsewogue schools.
Kalliope Gonias is a social studies teacher at CHS who started the Intro to Teaching class. Through this curriculum, students get an up-close look at what it takes to become an educator.
Gonias offers students a practical approach to teaching, providing hands-on experience at Clinton Avenue Elementary School. Through this unique learning style, the theories and techniques students acquire in the classroom are put into practice.
Due to an overwhelming success and positive student response, plans are already underway to extend the program for a second year.
Mike Mosca, principal at CHS, commented on the value the WBL program provides for Comsewogue students. “Our goal is to give our students real-world experiences in various careers and fields,” he said. “High school students working with Clinton Avenue Elementary School teachers is just the beginning. We plan to add more opportunities for all our students through our growing community partnerships.”
Nick Trubia is one of Gonias’ Intro to Teaching students. He commented on the unique opportunities the WBL program affords him and his peers.
“I am going to school for education, and I really enjoy going to the elementary school,” he said. “We are also learning about what education entails, the theory and different kinds of policies,” adding, “It is fun and a great experience if you want to be a teacher.”
Comsewogue Superintendent of Schools Jennifer Quinn noted how WBL lends itself to a different style of classroom engagement. “You can see an immediate change in every student when they are doing hands-on learning,” the district superintendent said. “The teaching experiences are valued by students and staff.”
She added that she believes these new additions take academics at Comsewogue to a whole new level.
Camila Perez Solis is a foreign-exchange student from Ecuador and a junior at Comsewogue High School.