HALIFAX COUNTY, Va. – Halifax County High School students already have some classes available to help them prepare for healthcare careers, but come this fall, they'll have a few more.
"It'll probably be just one or two classes" career and technical education coordinator Dr. Debra Woltz said.
Woltz said the goal of the new classes is to provide students the basic knowledge they need for healthcare careers.
The plan is to offer the classes to freshman and sophomores next year and then to all students the following year.
"When they get to be juniors, we hope they can specialize in something, one of three tracks," Woltz explained. "We won't have a fixed schedule. We're working on course development right now."
Woltz is hopeful current teachers at the high school will be able to teach the classes.
Principal Michael Lewis said he and Woltz have met with representatives at Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital in South Boston to try to make sure the classes are effective for students.
"Coming out of that meeting, I felt real positive that they thought this would be a great track for students and that it would be a big help for them filling positions they have," Lewis said.
He hopes to have more meetings in the future.
In a statement, the hospital's president, Jason Studley, said in part:
"We know that high-school students are the future of these communities and it is our goal to not only support our public school system here in Halifax, but to form a symbiotic relationship that allows these students to pursue the medical careers of their choice, while providing a solid foundation for the health of the community into the future."
The medical program is one of eight expected to start at the school over the next few years.
"A lot of these changes are being brought about by DOE, Virginia Department of Education's 'Profile of a Graduate.' So we're trying to offer more internships, more hands-on things for our students," Lewis said.
Students will be able to start signing up for the medical classes after spring break.