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future needs. The progress of the vocational programs of the schools is attested in recent figures. It must be emphasized that these accomplishments have been made in the face of severe and continuing obstacles. Rapid growth, together with temporary and restrictive facilities, have made progress and excellence most difficult.
An effort is being made to provide adequate programs of occupational training, and one which will enable students to secure satisfactory employment. How much specific course offerings assist students in securing employment, and how proficiently they perform on the job, has not been adequately researched. Evidence indicates, however, that both of these goals are being fulfilled to a degree.
A multitude of factors were considered by the consultants before formulation of the educational specifications began. As already indicated, the current vocational programs, facilities, placement data, and regional occupational trends have been studied. In addition, the work that the consultants have done in Montgomery County was reviewed. The current reports available from other agencies involved in the developments in northern Virginia were also read. Numerous governmental and private agencies were contacted and their various comments evaluated.
The long-range perspective in the report is derived in part upon data gathered by Odell MacConnell Associates throughout the country over the last several years. The trend of educational organization as found in the Nation was assumed as providing a hint as to possible future development for Washington, D.C.
Inasmuch as 86.5 percent of the District's population work in the District, the immediate major occupational opportunities would seem to exist close to home. Only 13.5 percent of the local population work in the suburbs or outside. This provides a limited work horizon for most District of Columbia inhabitants at this time. It does, however, simplify the task of the public schools in providing a meaningful program of vocational education.
With the rapid development of technology, it is evident that increasing numbers of unskilled, semiskilled, and even skilled workers will be replaced by machines. In addition, many people (some of them unskilled and some semiskilled) presently have no more than marginal competencies. When unemployed, these people must either be supported by relief, or they must be helped to become economically productive. The Nation, faced by the alternatives of providing relief or assisting individuals in developing new and needed competencies, will probably choose the latter course.
How much of the remedial task should be the District of Columbia public schools' responsibility, or where this should be assigned, has not been completely legally or operationally determined. It is clear that this is an important area, one which is well-suited to the District of Columbia public schools' leadership effort, and one where an extremely important service could be performed.
It will be noted that this report has left out certain curricular areas. In most cases, extensive footage requirements, lack of a current program and indecisive information as to local, actual occupational opportunity influenced such decisions. For example, some evidence would point to the desirability of air education being in close physical proximity to an airfield. Air mechanics need to work on operational aircrafts, if high standards are to be achieved. Consideration of a satellite school at National Airport might be given by a congressional committee. Inasmuch as that field is located in Virginia, special legislation would probably be needed if the District of Columbia school system were to provide leadership for such a development.
Another case involves a partial planning approach due to present building activity. The new landscaping facilities at Phelps Vocational High School have caused an expenditure in excess of a quarter of a million dollars. Rather than duplicate these plans, it is suggested the Vocational-Technical-Occupational Center plan for a restricted horticulture facility which would augment the Phelps layout and offer advanced technical courses.
Reasons for recommending a single installation over several centers are manyfold, the more important reasons being educational. A depth of program is difficult to achieve in small units. For example, an enrollment of 100 students in a curriculum produces several possible courses; whereas an enrollment of 1,000 students permits a wide range of courses. It is offtimes feasible to get
the same results by spreading out course offerings over several facilities; however, coordination and administration problems become almost insurmountable if this course of action is widely pursued.
The consultants, as previously indicated, view the current educational achievements as substantial in view of growth and use of inadequate facilities. The problems attendant with the present facilities, the resulting above-normal utilization of many spaces and cramped quarters are every day evident.
in the current vocational schools has been achieved and an enrollment of 2,900 has been projected until such time additional school plant space becomes available. Suffice it to observe here that this situation seriously impedes the staunch efforts being made by administrators, faculties, and staffs to provide for the needs of the youth and community served. The Vocational-Technical-Occupational Center educational specifications to follow will contain the staff's and consultants' recommendations for a new all-encompassing facility which will go far to overcome current facility and program problems.
The problem involves the development of a new vocational-technical-occupational education facility to house ultimately 5,000 day students in grade levels 10-12 with accommodations for post-high-school youth and adult education programs.
Although the current enrollment projection for vocational high schools by the Department of General Research, Budget, and Legislation is stabilized at 2,900, this figure has been determined by current available facilities rather than demand or need. The consultants feel that in a district with an enrollment approximating 150,000 students, the need for facilities of this sort are so obvious as to preclude the need for further justification. The present emphasis on vocational education, as shown by extensive congressional support for its enhancement throughout the Nation, amply portrays its importance to national well-being and security.
This Center will be flexible in its nature in order to provide desired educational programs not usually offered in the District's other schools. Programs which fulfill general educational requirements also will be provided. The facilitation of the educational program must take place within the framework outlined by the statement of institutional objectives which have been developed. The buildings must be designed and constructed to provide comprehensive educational opportunities within the aura of the business, commercial, and Government atmosphere as it exists within Washington, D.C.
The organization of the public schools is undergoing the process of growth and change. This report makes some suggestive assumptions about the nature of this phenomenon.
(1) In keeping with the concept of a truly democratic society, the District's secondary schools will become more truly comprehensive, i.e., offer a wider scope of curriculums for a broad range of student abilities.
(2) The present vocational high schools will be reconstituted for other uses: (a) They may be retained and used as modified vocational high schools, or to augment or contain certain specialized vocational curricular offerings.
(b) They may become special schools designed to salvage students for the regular programs at the VTO Center. Such schools would be heavily staffed with guidance and counseling personnel, teachers akin to those found in the Peace Corps and dedicated to providing an environment where secondaryaged students may learn to improve their basic educational and social skills. A program constructed along the lines advocated at the North Carolina Advancement School might be considered. There, a majority of the students are put in remedial reading clinics, for reading skill is basic to most learning. Some of these students, despite IQ's ranging from 90 to 125, show only third-grade reading skill. Reading clinics have five or fewer students to a class.
(c) They may be removed, or any combination of uses evolved, such as becoming part of a larger secondary school or school park.
(3) More and more students will wish to avail themselves of post-high-school training and the VTO Center will accommodate a larger and larger percentage of 13th and 14th grade enrollees. However, some 10th, 11th, and 12th grade pupils may always be better served by the special facilities available at such a plant. (4) There will be less tendency to "lock" a student into a vocational course for 3 years. Rather, length of enrollment in vocational-technical-occupational training will be more truly related to actual time required for job proficiency.
(5) The initial training of students will be geared more to a "curriculum cluster." Despite the best guidance and training efforts, placement in specific job slots cannot be assured, especially for young people just entering the world of work. Retraining operations for older students will continue to be specific and short-range in order that they may quickly reenter the working labor force. (6) The new VTO Center will be planned as a series of curriculum clusters. That is, a number of related spatial and equipment functions will be placed together in an area. In such a series of spaces, programs of instruction can be developed both in depth and scope as needs become apparent.
(7) It is conceivable that the VTO Center may be made available for use in a formal junior college program. This would not necessarily eliminate 10th to 12th grade students, but would broaden and enhance the educational opportunities for 13th and 14th grade students.
A description of the educational program provides the basis for the educational specifications from which design and specification decisions may_be_rendered by the architect. This description involves analysis of the expected educational outcomes; discernible trends in content; class enrollments; methods and materials to be used; specific teaching and nonteaching activities; kinds, sizes, and amounts of furniture and equipment; utility services; visual, thermal, and acoustical needs; kinds, sizes, and numbers of storage areas; and other unique requirements.
The Vocational-Technical-Occupational Center (VTO) is not intended to be a miniature college, neither is it intended to be a regular comprehensive high school. It is a unique, identifiable institution with distinct qualities and characteristics which includes, among other things, responsiveness to the needs of the working community, the offering of vocational-technical-occupational programs, special programs not available elsewhere, a responsibility for post-highschool youth and adult education, and a faculty whose primary purpose is teaching subject courses within the conceptual framework of their direct applicability to produce in students skills that are immediately employable. The VTO Center may be seen as supplementing and extending the present secondary educational program so as to provide more comprehensive and realistic curriculums within the District.
1. What are the objectives of the educational program at the VTO Center? The objectives of the vocational-technical-occupational education program are: To prepare youth and adults for satisfying and productive employment in the world of work.
To assist employed workers to achieve satisfaction and success in present jobs or advance to more skillful jobs.
To assist unemployed workers to obtain needed skills in order to become employable.
To that end, the VTO Center proposes to serve the following groups:
High school students who are not planning to attend college.
High school students who plan to attend college and desire special courses.
Students who marry early and need occupational preparation.
Individuals who need to be retrained or upgraded in their occupation.
It should also
Provide training to serve the industries found in the District of Columbia
Provide training for the wide variety of distribution and service occupations.
Aid handicapped individuals.
Give training opportunities to indentured apprentices and employed craftsmen needing additional training.
Provide additional academic preparation for early school leavers who are still in need of a high school diploma.
Provide course facilities for any special subject area not provided elsewhere.
Provide instruction in nonjob-saturated subject fields when the demand is evident.
2. What should be the way of implementing these objectives?
The VTO Center objectives are implemented by an educational program. There is virtually no limit to the kinds of programs which may be offered except the imagination of the educators, the vocational-technical occupational interests of the students, and the work force needs of the community. Vocational-technicaloccupational programs, to be effective, must be job-oriented.
The occupation-centered concept does not preclude the inclusion of liberal education courses for the students. The concept does, however, insist that such courses relate meaningfully to the students' employment aims.
3. How do these objectives differ from those of other District schools?
The present secondary schools provide general education and transfer programs to other institutions in addition to a limited amount of vocational training. This latter activity does not always yield employable personnel. Although the VTO program may result in some general and transfer education, its primary purpose will be to produce employable products as a result of the vocationaltechnical-occupational education program.
4. How does this way of implementation differ from those of other District schools?
The job-oriented approach requires facilities which admit to the practical application and demonstration of occupational skills. Rather than equipping shops and work areas primarily from a survey point of view, the work spaces and laboratories must permit a realistic use of employable skills which will be immediately marketable. Thus, the VTO Center must be built around its work application spaces as the core (s) and surrounded with academic or the more conventional type of educational spaces which are dedicated to the concept of related or complementary liberal education. The VTO Center will provide a depth of program in the vocational-technical-occupational fields.
5. What limiations have been placed upon the realization of these objectives and in properly developing the desired way of implementing these objectives? As with any project, there will be a limitation imposed by the amount of available funds. Presently, to build the VTO Center the sum of $32,335,726 has been proposed for future budget consideration. The VTO Center might start with that amount for its initial planning. Due to the expense of property acquisition, the amount of money that may be required will necessarily affect estimates of financial need. Each year's delay in building will also add approximately 5 percent to any cost estimates.
THE SCHOOL PLANT
The physical facilities for the Vocational-Technical-Occupational Center have been planned for an enrollment of 5,000 full-time students. It is assumed that the Center's population will have a wide range of backgrounds, interests, and aptitudes with their residence in Washington, D.C., as the main common denominator in most instances.
In order to determine the number, kind, and size of the educational spaces which will be required to house the program for the VTO Center, a space adequacy survey form was used. This entailed an analysis of anticipated enrollment by curricular areas. The process is a purely mathematical one and provides a basis for estimating certain space requirements.
The following tables indicate the mathematical computations used and the determined spaces projected for each subject area. These data were studies, as were the functions of each curriculum cluster. These computations were then used as a guide in developing the area space needs in consonance with an understanding of area functions and activities.