TRHS receives grant to start manufacturing program

THREE RIVERS — Three Rivers High School will have a manufacturing program available at the school in the near future.

During Monday’s Three Rivers Community Schools Board of Education meeting, St. Joseph County Career and Technical Education Student Success Coordinator Jennifer Yesh discussed the school receiving a $360,000 grant from the Society of Mechanical Engineers (SME) to start a new SME manufacturing program.

In the fall of 2021, Yesh said, she was able to write a grant for the state to “bring manufacturing to Three Rivers,” and mentioned that on a road tour of industry in Three Rivers two years ago, she noticed the area was “really lacking” in CTE options for manufacturing in the area.

“I was able to write a grant, and I didn’t find out until January that we actually got it,” Yesh said.

The program, Yesh said, will introduce students to computer-aided design, manufacturing, additive prototyping, methodology, and other different aspects of manufacturing she said is needed in the area.

“Over the next four years, you’re going to see students in the district working together through this grant to build Three Rivers in that manufacturing side,” Yesh said. “I’m just very thankful we were able to provide this for Three Rivers. Hopefully we’ll be able to come back and show you exactly what the new classroom will look like.”

She said several machines will be included in the program, including three to four lathes, and some mills and access machines. In addition, there will be a curriculum that goes with it along with continuing education for instructors.

“Some really exciting things are going to be happening for Three Rivers students,” Yesh said.

In addition to the update on the grant, Yesh also mentioned the new Public Safety CTE program coming to Centreville High School, which will service all the schools in St. Joseph County. She said about 40 students are currently interested in the program.

In other business…

  • The board recognized bus driver Lisa McClain on her retirement after 31 years with the district. The board and the audience gave McClain a standing ovation upon receiving a certificate of appreciation from the district.
  • The board approved the first reading of a new acceptable use policy for technology in the school handbooks. IT Director Nick Bryant said a couple of provisions were added to the existing policy, including a provision releasing the district from liability for students who bring their own laptops or mobile devices with written permission, and provisions around Google Workspace for Education apps.
  • The board approved the second reading of a new policy for equal access for non-district-sponsored student clubs and activities. While a potential change to the policy was briefly brought up at the board’s last meeting regarding a way to allow students to participate in a student club if a parent was not in support of them doing so, it was not put into the final policy.
  • Following a two-hour closed session, the board approved the reinstatement of Andrews Elementary School Principal Ben McIntyre from an administrative leave effective on Monday, April 25. The Commercial-News filed a Freedom of Information Act request Wednesday to learn more about the situation surrounding McIntyre’s administrative leave, when it occurred, and the reasonings for it.

Robert Tomlinson can be reached at 279-7488 ext. 22 or robert@threeriversnews.com.

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