Tech school holds open house for prospective students

  • Carpentry instructor Michael Nobrega tells prospective students and their parents about the woodworking program at FCTS. Recorder Staff/Christie Wisniewski

Recorder Staff
Saturday, February 10, 2018

TURNERS FALLS — Eighth-graders looking to shape their educational future attended Franklin County Technical School’s Career Night Open House to tour classrooms, learn about various programs, and decide whether FCTS is a good fit for them.

Tech school instructors stayed in their classrooms to welcome prospective students and answer their questions about programs. Some classrooms displayed slideshows, while others laid out books and tools used in the classroom. The cosmetology classroom displayed hair mannequins, while the woodshop and welding classroom displayed past projects from students.

Superintendent Richard Martin estimates that this event has been held for the past 42 years FCTS has been open.

He believes that the open house event increases enrollment to the school and informs students about opportunities they may not have known about otherwise.

“The open houses allow students and families to ask questions and see what they might want to get involved in,” Martin said.

Some students come to an open house event knowing exactly what program they want to enroll in, and others use the time to make a decision about programs they’re on the fence about, according to Martin.

Another benefit of Open House is that it allows eighth-graders to start exploring potential careers. Some FCTS students use their vocational school skills to get a part-time job while still in school and then attend college, and others graduate FCTS and immediately find full-time employment in their field.

While most attendees of the twice-a-year event are eighth-graders, interested ninth-graders are also allowed to come.

FCTS graduate and plumbing instructor John Hicks has taught at the tech school for 15 years and believes Open House night is incredibly beneficial to students looking to begin their career planning.

Hicks mentioned that students have a chance to tour the tech school during a school day, but it doesn’t allow them enough time to ask questions or learn about each classroom like the evening Open House does.

“This event is a little more relaxed and they can see the shops they actually want to see,” he said.

“There’s a lot to see in such a short amount of time,” chimed in Holland Herzig, another plumbing instructor who also graduated from FCTS.

The tech school offers rigorous academic and hands-on educational experience for high-schoolers in the county. Some programs students can choose from include cosmetology, welding, plumbing, landscaping, machine technology, and automotive technology.