From the Sept. 9 print edition
Audrey James-Anenih staff writer
Braden Bochner staff writer
Steve Rappaport, Director of Career Development and Head of the Regional Occupational Program (ROP), spent the summer reinventing the ROP Dept. After Robert Hayne, the previous Work Experience coordinator announced his retirement, as well as the school board’s decision not to approve the position of ROP counselor, Rappaport, who also serves as the varsity boys soccer coach, decided to view the changes as an opportunity to improve his program.
Over the summer, the Los Angeles County Office of Education cut expenses and is no longer employing counselors for the Regional Occupational Program within their districts. All 23 LA County employed districts lost their ROP counselors. The county later chose to continue providing the funding needed to keep the ROP program alive, but decided to allow each individual district to determine how its budget is to be distributed.
“When LA County decided to no longer employ ROP counselors in all districts, the county made it clear that funding for the department is still going to be honored for the next two years,” Rappaport said.
With this series of events, many subsequent questions were posed about how the Beverly Hills Unified School District would readjust and reorganize the ROP Dept.
“The county also mentioned that each individual district would be responsible for how they distribute ROP resources,” Rappaport explained, “leading our district to choose whether or not they would like to rehire the counselor position, previously held by Anspach, but the school board voted against it.”
The district’s yearly allotted budget is no different than it was last year, but with Rappaport exploring new developments in the program, the money is being distributed to different aspects of the courses offered. According to Rappaport, “money is being distributed to different aspects offered.
Extending the ROP Dept. includes new staff, and new courses that respond to current student interests.
In order to give students a “real world experience,” Rappaport is working to provide an on-campus opportunity to interact with businesses.
The ROP Dept. recruited two new teachers to instruct the recent course additions. Culinary consultant Rick Leece was hired for a full time position, allowing the ROP Dept. to add two additional Advanced Culinary classes.
Charles Stansbury, serves not only as the head football coach, but also teaches Work Experience, Sports Marketing and Entrepreneurship. Furthermore, Stansbury co-advises D.E.C.A. (Distributed Educational Clubs of America) with Jarvis Turner.
Stansbury views teaching ROP based classes as an opportunity to give students insight into the ever-expanding world of business, which can be applied to any career.
“I want to give students the understanding, knowledge and confidence to succeed in creating their own business someday,” he said.
The teachers within the ROP department all share a common goal: to develop a program that exposes students to life outside of high school, giving them a better understanding of their world, as well as confidence in their work ethics and academic strengths.