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CTE Open Houses highlight Career Tech programs for community

Cosmetology program at Normandy High School November 11, 2019


For parents, and especially students, making choices and decisions about future careers or classes can sometimes be uneasy. However, three upcoming Parma City School District Career and Technical Education Open House events will make the next steps on a student’s educational journey a little easier for everyone.

Nationwide, Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs have become more popular over the last decade. According to a 2018 Education Week article, about 8.3 million students in the U.S. are enrolled in a CTE program, nearly half of the entire high school population.

In the PCSD, approximately 1,100 high school students are enrolled in a CTE or Workforce Development program. In addition, over 70% of all 8-12 students in the district are enrolled in a CTE elective class.

To help students and families learn more about these exciting, state-of-the-art programs and electives, the PCSD is holding three CTE Open Houses, at each PCSD high school. The CTE Open Houses provide families the ability to see, hear and most importantly, experience these unique programs and electives.

In addition, the CTE Open Houses are not solely open to just PCSD students. Any student in the community in grades 5 through 11 is  invited to attend.

“I think it’s really important for people to actually see the labs, and people are amazed when they come into our facilities,” Kristen Plageman, Director of Strategic Initiatives for the PCSD explained. “They can’t believe the resources and the programs that we have. I think that people are shocked.  And this is open to anyone in the community.”

CTE Open Houses will be held on Tuesday, November 19 at Parma Senior High School, Thursday, November 21, at Valley Forge High School and on Tuesday, December 3, at Normandy High School. Each Open House will begin at 6:00 PM in the school’s auditorium with a presentation, followed by visits to each program and elective available at the building.

“There are things in operation, like our 3-D printers, they can tour all of our labs and check everything out,” Plageman expressed. “We have a ton of current students that are in the programs. At Normandy, we probably have 200 kids there who are volunteering. And sometimes it’s better to talk with the students to find out more.”

With elective courses starting in the eighth grade, students starting in grade five are invited to attend the Open House to find out more about future courses they can take when they reach the high school building.

“We have Family Consumer Science, Industrial Tech, Computers, Business which are Career Tech elective courses,” Plageman added. “They are mini versions of the main course to see if students are interested in them.”

For older students, the Open Houses provide invaluable information during the informational session, as well as getting to experience programs like Welding, Auto Service Technology, Culinary, Medical, Networking, Biotechnology and more.

“Kids will always ask if they can take more than one program, and what the money costs are,” Plageman explained. “For some of our programs, there is a $150 charge for a tool kit. But, if parents don’t have money, we have loaner sets and we also will do a payment plan. We don’t want money to deter any kid from taking our programs.”

More information about each PCSD CTE program is available on our website at


Due dates for current grade 10 and 11 students to sign up for CTE programs in the district is December 19.  More information is also available at each high school student services office.




All Career and Technical Education Open Houses are from

6:00 PM - 8:00 PM:


Tuesday, November 19:

Parma Senior High School

6285 W. 54th Street

Parma, 44129


Thursday, November 21:

Valley Forge High School

9999 Independence Blvd.

Parma Heights, 44130


Tuesday, December 3:

Normandy High School

2500 W. Pleasant Valley Road

Parma, 44134


PHOTO CAPTION: Families can learn more about Career and Technical programs, like Cosmetology, by attending CTE Open Houses starting Nov. 19. Each PCSD high school hosts specific CTE programs. For a full schedule, visit