New concept for schools: Cano Academy is model for other campuses

HARLINGEN — An example of the Harlingen school district’s continuous change can be found at the Dr. Abraham P. Cano Freshman Academy.

Cano Academy is one of the three pieces in the Career and Technology Education redesign.

The school generated considerable excitement three years ago when it opened. It seemed more like a college, with its division into five separate schools: School of Liberal Arts; School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math; School of Health Science; School of Education; and School of Business.

School officials and members of the community responded enthusiastically to the news that the district planned to implement these same divisions in the other high schools. The program worked very well, and students were excited by the new opportunities.

Then House Bill 5 arrived and the district had to realign the school to comply with new state requirements.

“Cano modified its schools to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), Business and Industry, Public Service, and Arts & Humanities,” said Alicia Noyola, chief academic officer.

It also included the School of Multidisciplinary Studies. Noyola said the multidisciplinary endorsement is a combination of the other four.

“This is because a student who selects the multidisciplinary endorsement is choosing not to specialize,” Noyola said. “Therefore the student can take coursework from any of the other four endorsements.”

With these changes, the original Liberal Arts program was placed in the School of Arts and Humanities. The original School of Education and the School of Law are now located under the School of Public Service. The original School of Business is now part of the School of Business and Industry.

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Editor’s Note

This is the next installment in a series of articles on the Harlingen school district’s plan to redesign its Career and Technology Education program.