In the upcoming fall of 2021, the cosmetology course will become accessible to students across the district, bringing another change to the DCSD community. The course consists of a 2 year commitment that focuses on hair, esthetician and nail technician skills, engaging students in 1500 hours of preparation for future real world experiences.
The inspiration for the program began with difficulties when it came to transferring students to programs outside of the district, as well as the idea of adding Career and Technical Education, CTE, courses.
“Dr. Page, Mrs. Larsen, and myself were talking about adding CTE courses, specifically about trade skills. Construction, auto welding, and cosmetology,” said Kerith Stuebinger, assistant principal. “A total of almost 100 kids throughout the district have applied to do cosmetology.”
Due to past and current demand of students attending the program outside of the district, it became more difficult to reserve enough spots. “We’ve had the ability to send our students to the Englewood program but with scheduling and distance it was really hard for us just to get students into it,” said Amy Larsen, counselor.
Melissa Wolkow, senior, is the only student who has had to face those complications this year. “I used to have a 4th period and it was hard on me because there was no time to eat, I had to get in my car right after 4th and drive straight to cosmetology school.”
Though Wolkow is graduating this May, she is excited that “other people can have a more flexible option if the drive is an issue.”
Similar to Englewood Public School’s finest salon & spa academy, students are expected to contribute around $800 per year on student kits, uniform shirts, consumable lab fees, as well as state testing fees.
At the end of the course, students passing the Cosmetology State License run by the Department of Regulatory Agencies, DORA, will be awarded with an active license, allowing them to begin performing services in public.
Those interested in CTE programs were required to meet with their high school counselor to discuss course information and complete the District CTE Application process, which was due late January of 2021.
Ivori Glass, sophomore, is one of many applicants excited for the new opportunity to come. “When I graduate high school, I want to immediately get a job where I can help others look and feel their absolute best,” said Glass. “So this brand new opportunity that Highlands Ranch High School is offering to those who want to learn is a literal dream come true.”
DCSD gained the funds towards this cosmetology course addition through a majority of voters approving the mill levy override, a ballot measure that asks voters living in a school district boundary to approve the collection of additional “mills” on property taxes above what is allowed in the state of Colorado.
“The district got some money to improve Career Technical Education programs and a portion of the money was selected to go to a Cosmetology program,” said Larsen. “Our school was lucky enough to be the one chosen to house the program.”
According to DCSD, in November 2018, voters approved additional funding for Douglas County School District in the form of a $40 million Mill Levy Override and a $250 million Bond Measure.
This cosmetology course addition is aimed to give students a chance to experience real world scenarios and allow students to begin obtaining their licenses. Glass said, “It is super exciting to know that my career and life dream starts just after this summer.”
Kirstie Ko, Staff Reporter