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Ballston Spa schools seek Malta land

During the joint meeting, where both boards came together to discuss the future of the area and the technological opportunities available in the region, school board members spoke about their desire to prepare children for a global world, by eventually creating a technical high school to train a high-tech workforce, as well as implementing a more rigorous curriculum.

"We have to collaborate," said Superintendent Raymond Colucciello. "We have to work together with business and industry."

Malta is the proposed site of Advanced Micro Devices, a computer chip manufacturing plant, and while the district would like to collaborate with them when they are established, they have also been talking with officials from Hudson Valley Community College and Saratoga Technology and Energy Park, located in Luther Forest, to create a technical high school.

"It is an exciting time in Ballston Spa and this region," Jarvis said. "Tech Valley is going to have a tremendous impact on all of our lives."

The tech high school would provide students an opportunity to complete college-level coursework and possibly work a half day training for a career in the technology world.

School officials visited Portland, Ore., two years ago, and talked with educators and educational institutions there to determine the impact of computer giant Intel on the students in the area. They said the knowledge they gained from this trip prepared them for looking at the opportunities available to Ballston Spa with the introduction of AMD.

One main theme the officials took away from the visit was the need for advanced degrees. They said Intel would not hire anyone without at least an associate's degree.

Board Vice President Keith Stewart said he was impressed with the focus on technical writing in Oregon. He said he expected educators to concentrate on math and science, but he was surprised by their emphasis on communication, which he said is an important skill for today's workforce.

"We need to be flexible and think outside the box," Stewart said.

Colucciello said that students will be competing internationally for jobs, and they need a more rigorous education to compete.

"The standards we have to set at our schools is a world-class standard," Colucciello said.

The two boards vowed to meet again and keep the lines of communication open.""

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