Photo by Rome City Schools

“What are you going to be when you grow up?”

We are sure everyone has been asked this question at least once in their lives, and it is no exception for Rome City Schools students, especially when preparing to choose their Career, Technical and Agricultural Education (CTAE) pathways.

Where this can be a weighty question for 8th and 9th grade students, the use of an online aptitude and survey database, YouScience, is helping to alleviate the stress by testing students’ skills and interests on a higher level to help students discover what they might want to study. YouScience tests students and the results help them to figure their aptitudes, and choose careers to fit them best. Because their direction is more clear, they are likely to stay the course.

YouScience is paid for by the State of Georgia and Rome City Schools is actually the biggest user in the state. They were one of the first systems to truly use the database to help place students in classes offered at the school..

Holly Amerman, CEO of Rome City Schools College and Career Academy and CTAE Director, was recently informed by the Georgia Foundation for Public Education (GFPE) that RCS was awarded a $5,000 grant in order to further implement the use of the YouScience database.

“We wanted to take it a step further and really use those results to help kids figure out what pathways they might want to take in high school. So, we wrote a grant through the Georgia Foundation for Public Education (GFPE) for a Bridge Day,” said Amerman.

“First, all 9th grade students will take the YouScience test. Next, they will attend the Bridge Day (to be announced) with their parent or guardian and they will sit down with a trained teacher who will help each student and parent choose a path through high school using the information from the YouScience test,” explained Amerman.

RCS is also planning on matching the $5,000 grant from CTAE district funds, which will pay for teacher training, supplements for the teachers who assist with Bridge Day and help pay for transportation. “We are
planning on running buses to neighborhoods to pick up children who need transportation, which is sometimes a barrier. We want this service to be available to everyone who is interested,” said Amerman.

Amerman wanted to get the word out to parents that, “participating in this opportunity will help your student be better prepared for life during high school, as well as after school. By using this tool, your student will also get first choice on scheduling, which is a tremendous help,” said Amerman.

Amerman hopes that this grant and opportunity “will help to enhance each student’s high school career because we know we can get them into a CTAE program, which leads better an overall graduation rate. If you finish a CTAE program at Rome High School, you have a 100 percent graduation rate. So, we know that helping kids find their passion brings them to school and keeps them in school which is so very important to us here in Rome City Schools.”