New charter school instructs 144 students in building trades

We’ve told you before about the ACE Academy –
now see the instructors in action, as school
gets underway at this unique educational facility.

Students become familiar with their “school away from school” as the ACE Academy begins, at the Willamette Carpenter’s Training Center NE 158th Avenue in Northeast Portland.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Although Portland hadn’t seen a new charter school open in years, the Academy of Architecture, Construction & Engineering – known as ACE Academy – opened its doors this month.

(To learn the background of this school, see our past articles. CLICK HERE)

“We have about 144 students enrolled in the program this year,” reported the school’s director, Michael Taylor, when we visited the facility earlier this month. “When they’re here, they are typically divided up into ‘anchor teams’ of about 15 students each – much like a home room, back at their high school.”

ACE Academy instructor Marjan Rotting takes the students on a tour of the facility. Along the way, the students were asked to sketch in details and architectural features of the building.

Initially, the program will introduce students to design and building industry occupations, Taylor revealed. “Our five ACE educators integrate academics into a technical curriculum.”

To do this, the teachers went “back to school” during the summer months, learning and developing a “credit by proficiency” approach to education, he added.

Currently the school’s juniors and seniors who have expressed an interest in careers in architecture, construction, and engineering also attend general education at their “home schools” in Parkrose, Gresham-Barlow, Centennial, Centennial Learning Center, Reynolds and Sandy.

Each of the students is assigned a computer on which to work. Breanna Huffman and Jacob Billingsley try out their new computers in the class.

For more information, visit their web their web site by CLICKING HERE.

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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