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Print program pushed for new high school

March 17, 2005|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Jefferson County Schools officials are pushing ahead with their plans to have a printing technology curriculum at the county's proposed new high school.

Superintendent of Schools R. Steven Nichols and Jefferson County Board of Education President Lori Stilley traveled to Germany last month to see cutting-edge digital printing equipment being offered by Oc International.

School officials want to offer a printing curriculum in the new high school to help students take advantage of printing jobs that have opened up as a result of printing companies locating along the Interstate 81 corridor in recent years.

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The work that remains in establishing a printing curriculum for the school includes bidding for printing equipment and getting approval state education officials' approval for the curriculum, Nichols said Wednesday.

Nichols said all that work will have to be completed by the time the school, which is to be built next to the Huntfield development, opens in the fall of 2007.

Digital printing involves moving the printed word from a computer screen to a print operation, according to a press release Wednesday from Jefferson County Schools.

Ink is no longer applied to the page. Instead, printing material is bonded with paper using high pressure, creating a clearer printed image, the release said.

When school officials began talking about building a new high school, Oc officials offered school officials an expenses-paid trip to Germany to see how the new equipment is being used in a high school there, Nichols and Stilley said previously.

Nichols and Stilley were in Germany from Feb. 26 to March 2 to see the equipment available from Oc International. The trip included an open house to view equipment, a tour of an Oc plant in Poing, Germany, and consultations with educators, engineers and upper-level Oc management, the press release said.

Nichols said Oc International as well as other printing equipment manufacturers likely will be involved in the bidding process for printing equipment for the new high school. Nichols said he does not know how much the equipment might cost.

The printing technology center at the school would have three components, the release said.

Not only will it serve as an instruction classroom for students and adults learning about the printing industry, but it will become the print center for the school system, the release said.

Third, the facility will function as a "profit center" by offering digital printing services to other county agencies and organizations, according to the press release.

As part of their training, high school students will be able to help in the management of the printing facility, Nichols said.

"I was most impressed with the curriculum development that has been completed in regard to digital printing and how it could meet our needs," Nichols said in the release.

The printing facility would be in a science and technology center in the school. School officials initially talked about offering high-tech computer training in the center.

In addition to computer training and the printing curriculum, school officials also plan to offer biotechnology training to help students take advantage of biotechnology job opportunities, the press release said.

Nichols said the biotechnology training offered at the school would focus on areas such as nursing and basic scientific research.

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