Baldwin High School welcomed State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia and the Long Island representative of the State Board of Regents, Roger Tilles, to tour the school and survey students enrolled in the district’s academy programs.
Baldwin’s learning academies are designed to provide a specialized learning environment that offers both educational and vocational curriculums. The program allows students to gain real-world experience through clubs and activities, internships, competitions and professional shadow days, on which they follow practitioners in their field of study.
“I believe it’s important for our commissioner and our regent to know the kind of work that’s happening in Baldwin -- in a community like ours that is diverse, brilliant, with such a supportive community,” said Superintendant Dr. Shari Camhi.
Elia and Tilles visited Baldwin High last Friday. They took a tour of the campus, led by Camhi, and saw several of the school’s academy classes. After ward they discussed plans for future academy programs, including a joint venture with Molloy College.
“The academy we’re starting next year, which is a collaborative with Molloy College, is an education academy,” Camhi said. “The reason for that is we realize there is a shortage of teachers, and we realize there is a shortage of diverse teachers. We have a really brilliant student body here, and we have a diverse student body here, so we’re putting that all together... kids, starting in grade nine next year, will have the opportunity to learn what it means to become a teacher.”
Elia praised Baldwin’s academy programs, saying, “on Long Island, a lot of the students who graduate from these schools … go to schools that are around Long Island. So if we can do some kind of a program to connect the high schools to the colleges, and [have] the preparation in high school for the college work, than that would be very helpful.”
Tilles added, “Baldwin, Molloy, Post and Hofstra programs in schools that would offer college credit, exposing the kids to college, is all part of the seamless transition.”
Elia and Tilles then held a panel discussion with students from the five academies, and asked them about their experiences, coursework, college prospects and career plans.
“I think Baldwin has a lot to teach New York state,” said Camhi.
“I think we have an amazing program, and to be recognized for that is definitely something that Baldwin deserves.”