Essential Skills and the Skills Elective at ATHS
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The Bergen County Technical Schools District was founded in 1951 to oversee the County's growing need for vocational education. The following year, Bergen County Vocational-Technical High School, the first full-time facility of its kind in the state, opened at 200 Hackensack Avenue. At that time, students studied the union trades of plumbing, carpentry, masonry, and electrical work.Museum building photo
Because technical and vocational schooling is always closely tied to the job market, the cornerstone of the district’s success has been its ability to adapt to the changing needs of local industry. When industry’s needs later changed from hand tools to computers, technical education had to adapt as well.
The district believed students needed strong academic and technical skills to meet the challenges of the future. In the late 1980s, the district began offering before- and after-school enrichment classes for students interested in high-tech areas such as computers, physics, and electronics. The program opened the world of modern vocational education to gifted and talented students. With the aid of a $6 million county bond, the district began to bring unparalleled technology to the county. Secondary students from throughout Bergen County used the campus’s computer and science labs in cooperative and exploratory programs. Middle school students—and their teachers—were exposed to new technologies through a program called ECEMS (Enrichment and Career Exploration in Math and Science). In-service workshops and a professional development school, Apple Academy East, one of the most successful test sites for Apple Computer, followed. These innovative offerings helped initiate full-time programs in technical, career-driven areas for talented students who wished to study in an exciting, non-traditional learning environment.
Dear Parents, Guardians, and Community Members,
Every year, New Jersey county vocational-technical school districts honor a business partner who has made a substantial contribution to the enhancement of a career and technical education program within their district. This year, our district has selected Mr. John Bryndza as our 2017 Business Partner of the Year in recognition of his generous donation of time and expertise as a member of our advisory council, and his invaluable contributions to students in the Applied Technology High School engineering technology program.
A vital component of CTE programs is the creation of partnerships between educational institutions and the business sector. These alliances provide students hands-on, real-world experiences that connect their academic and technical studies with future professional applications. Mr. Bryndza, Project Engineer at Stryker Orthopaedics in Mahwah, was instrumental in establishing a project that afforded freshman students at Applied Technology High School the opportunity to collaborate with Stryker staff members on an exciting engineering challenge. The Rover Design Project, as it came to be known, was developed in the summer of 2015 during a series of discussions with ATHS instructors and Stryker staff regarding the skills that high-tech manufacturing companies like Stryker look for in their recruits, and the educational goals of Applied Technology High School.
In addition to contributing to the creation of this engineering challenge which the students participated in during the 2015-2016 school year, Mr. Bryndza was instrumental in developing a team of professionals with different technical and professional backgrounds to mentor our students as they worked on the project. He served as an effective liaison between ATHS students and staff and engineers at Stryker. He developed an easy rapport with our students, creating an environment where students felt comfortable asking questions, seeking advice, and accepting critiques of their work. Our staff members are currently working with Mr. Bryndza to incorporate elements of quality control into the ATHS curriculum. We are excited to continue our collaboration with Mr. Bryndza and Stryker as we work to create new and more challenging engineering and design projects.
I know I speak on behalf of all BCTS faculty and staff when I say we deeply appreciate the contributions of all of our business partners working with our four high school campuses and our Continuing Education division. Their efforts continue to assist us in providing excellent CTE programs.
Howard Lerner, Ed.D. Superintendent