Scottsbluff Public Schools announced Monday that Scottsbluff High School has be awarded an Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC) unit which will begin enrolling students this winter for the 2018/19 school year.
Superintendent Rick Myles told KNEB News the program will begin in the coming school year, and information will be shared with students and families (currently enrolled in grades 8-11) beginning in the coming weeks.
Scottsbluff joins only five other AFJROTC units in Nebraska with others located in Plattsmouth, Grand Island, Lincoln, and two in Bellevue. Myles says there is currently a lengthy waiting list for new units.
Science, technology, engineering and mathematics, commonly known as STEM concepts, are taught in the JROTC classroom, and practiced in very popular and critical co-curricular activities. STEM tools like classroom flight simulators, model rockets, and remote controlled aircraft enrich the learning opportunities to reinforce what is taught in the classroom.
Cadets participate in many different co-curricular activities such as parades, leadership laboratory activities, civilian air rifle marksmanship programs, drill team competitions, color and honor guards, military ball and honorary academic groups.
The program will be housed in the former administrative area of the original high school building.
The program is significantly funded by the United States Air Force to include much of the instructors’ salaries, all travel and field trips, students’ uniforms, instructional materials and equipment. There is no cost to students (or to their parents) to participate. Everything is provided by the Air Force.
There will be two instructors involved with the program. They must be a retired Air Force Commissioned and a non-Commissioned officer. The instructors will be full time faculty members of Scottsbluff Public Schools. They are trained through the AFJROTC Instructor Certification Course.
The school is currently seeking qualified applicants, and those interested MUST contact the US Air Force directly through their website www.afjrotc.com. The Air Force will disqualify anyone who contacts the school directly.
Cadets who choose to continue their education may receive special consideration for Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarships. Many of these scholarships will pay for two, three or four years of tuition, books and fees at several universities and colleges and allow cadets to pursue studies in various technical and non-technical majors.
Cadets completing two years of AFJROTC and who continue ROTC in college may waive up to a full year of college level ROTC.
SHS Principal Mike Halley said they are excited to be able to offer an AFJROTC program at the school. He says they anticipate being able to offer courses in Aerospace Science and Leadership that will enhance and complement their Career Academy pathways very well. He said they also believe that this program will provide one more way for students to become involved at the school and in the community.