FULTON, Ill. — Upgrading the home economics and welding and metals areas of Fulton High School during the summer will allow the school to offer second-level classes in both subjects, High School Principal Bob Gosch said last week.
“Our foods room is getting completely renovated,”Gosch said. “It’ll be a brand new space.” Two new kitchen areas will be added, making a total of six, so more students can take the class during each time period.
“We’re just maximizing that space a little more,” Gosch said.
Instead of limiting each foods class to 16 students, nearly 24 students can take Beginning Foods during a single period. That will leave a time open for an advanced foods class, which the high school will begin offering in the fall, Gosch said.
“Typically it’s a class that kids enjoy and take,” Gosch said. “They know that they’ll learn some skills,” and they also make something they get to eat. “We’ve had to turn kids away.”
Laurie Fobert, who teaches Beginning Foods and a nutrition class, will teach Advanced Foods, Gosch said. Fobert is still refining the curriculum, Gosch said, but the advanced class will teach students more real-life cooking skills from start to finish. From finding recipes to making a grocery list, purchasing ingredients and gathering tools, students will learn the art of making meals.
A Welding II class, which will confer high school credit as well as college credit through Sauk Valley Community College in Dixon, will begin in the spring, Gosch said.
“We have a good partnership with Sauk Valley,” Gosch said.
The high school’s welding and metals area was upgraded with a plasma cutting table and 10 individual spaces for welding, Gosch said.
“We know in this area that there is a huge need for manufacturing,” he said.
The welding program will offer a quick route to job opportunities while meeting the needs of local manufacturers.
Having the welding classes at Fulton High School is more convenient for students, Gosch said. Commuting to the Whiteside Area Career Center in Sterling takes too much time, he said.
“They leave at 7:15 to take class there,” he said.
Some Fulton students take Sauk Valley courses at the Whiteside Center or at Morrison Institute of Technology in partnership with Prophetstown, Milledgeville and West Carroll High School, in Savanna, Illinois. Students find other dual-credit classes online.
“They typically work in the library at a time that works best for them,” Gosch said.
A dual-credit chemistry class taught by Stacy Gates this fall will earn participating students up to 10 credit hours toward a college degree.
“We had 14 students sign up for it, which is a great number to have,” Gosch said.
Other dual-credit classes offered to Fulton students next year will be English, psychology and math.