Article by: Luke Zarzecki
Walk into one of Ranum Middle School’s entrances today and you’ll find boxes filled with school supplies, tables on dollies and desk chairs stacked on carts.
Fast forward to 2024 and you will be welcomed by a sunlit atrium that’s bustling with students learning career technical skills like welding, carpentry, phlebotomy, sports medicine and more.
“This won’t look like a school,” said Ryan McCoy, executive director of post-secondary workforce readiness for Westminster Public Schools.
That’s because Ranum Reimagined, a project to transform the former middle school into a career technical education (CTE) campus, kicked off this past summer with Phase I. The school originally operated as Ranum High School from 1962 until 2010.
The goal is for students to be able to pursue a career while earning a high school diploma, if they so choose. Ranum Reimagined will provide the space for students to collaborate with industry experts and have not only a high school diploma in hand on graduation day, but also professional certificates, college courses or skills ready to be used in a full time job.
Westminster Public Schools already offers career technical education, but this project will expand those opportunities.
They plan to build off their current programs and add pathways to entry level positions such as pharmacy technicians, phlebotomists, certified nursing assistants, sports medicine, physical therapy and more.
Those specific skills aren’t random. WPS asked the Colorado Department of Labor and Adams County what labor the state needs. As well, they teamed up with industry partners across the state.
The campus will also be cross disciplinary, meaning health care students might work with manufacturing students to mimic how industries often intersect with each other. Electricians would take their math courses through the lens of the electrical program.
“Our goal at the end of the day is that every pathway that we put within this facility will put a student on the path to a thriving wage, and not just a livable wage,” McCoy said.