The Washington School District will continue its Pathways for Teachers program again this year.

Superintendent Dr. Lori VanLeer said the district recently learned its grant was approved by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).

This will be the third year for the program, VanLeer said, expanding the leadership capacity of teachers, counselors and principals in the school district.

“Our goal is to ensure all of our students are college and career ready, thus we recognize that in today’s world, students must be able to communicate in multiple ways, critically think and problem solve,” she said. “We want to support our teachers as they work to become creative lesson planners and facilitators.”

VanLeer said the Pathways for Teachers project opens those doors, providing clarity for teachers as they make quality connections between school and the ever-changing world.

“By exposing a group of teachers to local industry over the last two years through industry tours, a model schools tour, significant training and ongoing collaboration, we have made great strides in our goals,” she said.

But that work is not done, she said, and there are more teachers, counselors and principals eager to learn through this initiative, titled The Power of Pathways.

The strands of focus will be industrial, manufacturing and engineering; biosciences; business, technology and media; and human services.

VanLeer said the goal is to have a secondary and elementary team, simultaneously, with some similarities and also some customization as needed.

The teams will participate in three to four industry tours and at least one model school tour. Members also will learn about the mission of Missouri Pathways (formerly Pathways to Prosperity) as well as the district’s pathway model, and participate in Project Based Learning training.

The Washington Area Chamber of Commerce also has adopted a resolution in support of the program.

VanLeer said the district also has a Business Partnership Team assembled with representation from many local industries, including Triology Analytical Laboratory, Computech Automation, Downtown Washington Inc., Mercy, LMI Aerospace, city of Washington, Athletico Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine, Frick’s Quality Meats and others.