In Paramount, middle school students can get head start on medical curriculum

PARAMOUNT – Alondra Middle School’s medical detectives will now be able to work with Paramount High School’s medical pathway students to explore human physiology, check vital signs and practice CPR on training dummies thanks to a plan aimed at creating a smooth transition between the two programs.

A Paramount High School student teaches an Alondra Middle School student how to do chest compressions to a CPR training dummy during a visit to the Paramount High campus on Jan. 10. The event created a bridge between Alondra’s medical detectives program and Paramount medical pathway program.

A Paramount High School student teaches an Alondra Middle School student how to do chest compressions to a CPR training dummy during a visit to the Paramount High campus on Jan. 10. The event created a bridge between Alondra’s medical detectives program and Paramount medical pathway program.

Class leaders connected Alondra’s Project Lead The Way (PTLW) program to Paramount High’s PLTW program to improve participation in college and career pathway programs, and to give middle schoolers insight into high school life.

“This transition will give our students progressive exposure into the pathways available to them and what they can continue studying in high school,” sixth-grade Earth science teacher and medical detectives’ instructor Jennifer Halliburton said. “I love PLTW because it provides exposure to students for subjects that they wouldn’t normally get the chance to see at the middle school level.”

Alondra’s PLTW program, started during the 2016-17 school year, is a five-month elective course that offers medical, architecture, app creation and graphic design classes to seventh- and eighth-graders. It connects with Paramount High’s program goals for providing students with academic and technical instruction to prepare them for the job market.

Twenty-three Alondra students made their inaugural visit to Paramount High on Jan. 10, where they were mentored by high schoolers and used the campus’ medical facilities.

Alondra’s program provides students with an introduction to medicine by teaching human anatomy, first aid and various jobs in the medical field. The program’s name comes from an in-class activity where students solve a murder mystery using medical techniques.

Students from Paramount High School’s medical pathway program speak with Alondra Middle School students who visited the campus on Jan. 10. The Alondra students visited as part of the Project Lead The Way program, which offers classes for architecture, app creation, graphic design and medical to seventh- and eighth-grade students.

Students from Paramount High School’s medical pathway program speak with Alondra Middle School students who visited the campus on Jan. 10. The Alondra students visited as part of the Project Lead The Way program, which offers classes for architecture, app creation, graphic design and medical to seventh- and eighth-grade students.

Halliburton said the connection between programs already has helped several students decide to continue their medical interests when they enter Paramount High. She also said the next batch of medical students will visit Paramount High at the end of the school year.

“Our Project Lead The Way programs are shining examples of how our District strives to provide our students with important skills that can be used in college and in their careers,” Superintendent Dr. Ruth Pérez said. “These programs create an important drive in our students because they strengthen their interest in considering a variety of careers until they select one that fits best.”