Albemarle County Public Schools (ACPS) said today it is in discussions with Charlottesville City Schools about the county school division’s desire to purchase full interest in the Charlottesville-Albemarle Technical Education Center, commonly known as CATEC.
Founded in 1973 and jointly owned and managed by the two school divisions, CATEC’s student enrollment increased this year by more than 20%. The center currently has 295 high school students from the county and another 67 city school division students for a total enrollment of 362. It also serves 261 students in its adult education programs.
The nearly 60,000-square-foot CATEC facility, located at 1000 Rio Road in Charlottesville, offers 10 high school programs providing hands-on and work-based learning opportunities that equip students to either immediately enter the workforce or to pursue post-graduate education. Students can receive, on average, 11 dual enrollment college credits from local community colleges and benefit from partnerships with post-secondary institutions and employers.
Albemarle County Public Schools said that its interest is predicated on a desire to make substantial investments in the modernization of the CATEC facility. While ACPS plans to retain and modernize all of the current program offerings, there also is a planned expansion of what the school does best: using a project-based learning approach to strengthen its curriculum and providing programs that expand its connections to private employers. The school division says the facility has the capability of significantly increasing the number of both county and city students who would benefit from these improvements.
ACPS said that, under its offer to the city, high school students from the city will continue to attend CATEC. It is hoped, the county school division said, that this acquisition can be concluded within the coming months.
CONTACT: Phil Giaramita, Strategic Communications Officer