System launching new CTE program at McDonough High School

System launching new CTE program at McDonough High School

Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) is expanding its career and technology education (CTE) programs for high school students to include a natural resources course of study. New for the 2019-20 school year is the CASE: Natural Resources Pathway program. The program is Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE) and will be available at Maurice J. McDonough High School starting next school year.

Students must apply for enrollment in the program, which has limited availability. The application process is similar to that of North Point High School CTE programs. For the program’s first year, current eighth-graders and high school freshmen can apply. Transportation will be provided by CCPS for students accepted to the CASE program who are not zoned for McDonough.

As part of CASE program requirements, students take four pathway courses: Introduction to Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources; Natural Resources and Ecology; Environmental Science Issues; and Agricultural Research and Development. Program curriculum is aligned to national standards for agricultural education as well as NextGen science standards.

The implementation of the program is funded through a grant CCPS received from the Maryland State Department of Education Division of College and Career Readiness. CCPS was awarded more than $143,000 earlier this year for use in launching the program. CCPS CTE staff have already developed partnerships to help with the implementation of CASE, such as working with local 4-H clubs and FFA (formerly known as Future Farmers of America) chapters, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and local agricultural businesses.

“The CASE program prepares students to be successful in numerous careers in agricultural sciences. The program is inquiry-based, incorporates classroom learning, FFA leadership and career development, as well as promotes outside of the classroom experiences through supervised agricultural experiences and internship opportunities. Having a variety of options for college and career opportunities puts Charles County students at the forefront of a growing sector of careers related to natural resources and the environment,” Traci Chappelear, coordinator of career and technology education for CCPS, said.

The application process opens for interested eighth graders on Dec. 3 and ends Dec. 21.  This is the same application window for current eighth graders interested in attending a CTE program at North Point. Additional information about the CASE program, as well as the application, is posted on the McDonough website at: The application opens Dec. 3 and ends Dec. 21 at 3 p.m.

Current freshmen can apply for CASE program enrollment in January 2019, as well as to any other under-enrolled CTE program at North Point. Additional information about under-enrolled CTE programs at North Point and CASE application for current freshmen will be sent by email to parents in January.

Information on all CCPS CTE programs is posted on the CTE website at

About CCPS

Charles County Public Schools provides 27,000 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Kathy Kiessling, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Nikial M. Majors, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

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