Five classes set to become CTE courses in upcoming school year


Paavo Lahdesmaki

LAHS is sent to introduce five new CTE courses for the upcoming year. The existing courses Intro to Computer Science, AP Computer Science and ADEN will become CTE courses, while Engineering 1 and 2 will be introduced starting next school year.

Los Altos High School is planning to introduce two new Career Technical Education (CTE) courses for the upcoming school year. 

Each CTE course is part of a pathway — one of fifteen career-related groupings. For example, Culinary falls under the Food Service and Hospitality pathway, which is part of the Hospitality, Tourism and Recreation sector.

One of the two new pathways being introduced at LAHS is Software Systems and Development. Both computer science classes, Intro to Computer Science and Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science A, will be classified as CTE courses. Advanced Data Structures and Embedded Systems and Networking, or ADEN, will also officially become a CTE course. 

The content of these courses isn’t expected to change, but additional funding can provide new opportunities for learning. (CTE classes are available to receive certain additional grants, providing funds for supplies and projects.)

Engineering and Architecture is the second pathway being added. As part of this requirement, next year, LAHS will introduce Engineering 1 and 2 — new classes, available starting next school year.

CTE courses aim to provide students with opportunities to explore pathways based on industry trends. They focus on hands-on work, with teachers acting as advisors instead of traditional professors. Students work on long-term projects, which can span as long as a semester. 

Teachers for CTE classes are required to meet specific requirements — they need specific CTE certifications and experience in the industry they’re teaching in. 

“We’re looking at industry leads and data from Santa Clara County to figure out where the jobs are for students,” CTE Specialist Amber Woodward said. 

Current CTE classes include Robotics, Culinary, Design & Prototype and Design & Fabrication.