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Middle schoolers get a jump on job training | #education | #technology | #training | #hacking | #aihp

Mill Creek Middle in Woodstock is among the first to align its electives with the health care sciences pathway at its district high school, River Ridge. Mill Creek’s 1300 students can opt into nine-week electives around diagnostic and support services, IT and biotechnology, therapeutic services and applied anatomy.

“A student could have four to eight opportunities to take courses during their sixth and seventh years, so by eighth grade, they’ll know if they like health care,” said Mill Creek Principal Matthew May, a former River Ridge teacher. “Then when they register for classes at the high school, they’ll know what they want to do.”

Mill Creek had another reason for picking the health care pathway: A building renovation provided enough elbow room to turn an old consumer science lab into the health care center.

“We got a grant from the state to equip the lab with hospital beds, computers, health care technology, wheelchairs and crutches,” said Webb. “It’s a real health care setting.”

The approximately 50 students in the program have also been visited by area health care workers who offered a glimpse into the reality of their jobs and may help students focus their interests – or change their minds entirely.

“We know some may think they want to do this, but if they change their minds, that’s part of learning and an early win,” said May. “I’d rather a kid learn now than go through a year of medical school to determine it’s not something they’re interested in.”

Information about Mill Creek Middle is online at

SEND US YOUR STORIES. Each week we look at programs, projects and successful endeavors at area schools, from pre-K to grad school. To suggest a story, contact H.M. Cauley at or 770-744-3042.

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