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Two U-46 high schools earn accreditation status

By Seth Hancock
  The metalworking programs at South Elgin and Streamwood high schools recently were nationally accredited by the National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS), a rarity among schools across the state and country according to a School District U-46 press release.
  According to the release, there are now only five schools in Illinois and around 75 in the nation that have received the accreditation by NIMS, the only recognized organization in the nation that can accredit programs for excellence in metalworking. The recognition is valid for five years.
  Students can receive college credit and workforce certification now and Matt Erbach, a Streamwood teacher, said the metalworking program allows students to use math and other skills in the metalworking process.
  “The fact that it is applied to a real project they are producing helps students to engage with what could otherwise be a pretty boring piece of math,” Erbach said.
  Russ Bartz, a teacher at South Elgin, said writing and communication skills are also used as he requires students to keep a weekly journal.
  Representatives from NIMS inspected the facilities at both schools and conducted interviews with students and staff this past fall, and they interviewed area employers that have hired recent students from the programs. The programs were rated to see if they meet national standards.
  “In earning accreditation, both high schools demonstrate a continued commitment to providing industry-level training within the state of Illinois and for the greater U.S. Manufacturing Industry,” said Catherine Ross, director of accreditation from NIMS.
  Along with Erbach and Bartz, the U-46 Board of Education recognized several people who helped in the process at a December meeting including the Streamwood Village President Billie Roth and manager Sharon Caddigan, Jennifer Boyle of ManPower Staffing, Greta Salamando of TMA Education Foundation and Eric Smith of Hoffer Plastics.



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