This school year will be a little different for students at Fleming Island High School. The Clay County school district has implemented wall-to-wall academies, allowing students to gain experience in a career field of their choice.
VyStar partnered with Fleming Island High to provide an academy for business and finance. Students are already getting hands-on work at a bank located at the school.
"At first, it's a little surprising that some teachers would trust kids with all of their bank account numbers and all that," said student Ty Corfield. "But once they get used to it, they understand that we're regular employees just like everyone else. We're held to the same VyStar standards as everybody else."
Before Corfield and several other students started working at the bank inside their own school, they chose to be a part of the VyStar Academy of Business and Finance. Through the program, they attended teller training, member service training and learned the rules and regulations of the banking industry.
"It's been eye-opening," said Corfield. "It's been a great experience. We learned a lot in financial literacy, a lot about the real world and financial application into everything."
Fleming Island High also offers an Academy of Teaching and Learning, Visual and Performing Arts, and Digital Media.
"It's not designed to pigeon-hole a student into a career pathway," says Academy Coach Toni Padgett. "A lot of 12th-graders don't know what they're going to do when they graduate high school, so it's a great way to look at their options."
When the students graduate, many of them will have a diploma and an industry certificate. Many of the academies also offer credit courses that can be transferred to universities.