Local ISD Offers Life Lessons in Pharmacy

Students participate in pharmacy course
GCISD’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) Program launched a pharmacy course. | Image by Grapevine-Colleyville ISD

Grapevine-Colleyville ISD added a groundbreaking pharmacy course to its career and technical education offerings this fall.

The district’s CTE teachers joined forces with healthcare professionals to develop a comprehensive course in pharmacy studies that includes practicums in which students will gain hands-on experience working alongside pharmacists.

“The support that we’ve received has been amazing,” said Kristi Mordhorst, a CTE health sciences teacher who surveyed students last year to see how many would be interested in such a course, according to Community Impact.

The practicums with pharmacy partners allow enrolled students to receive a technician trainee license through the Texas State Board of Pharmacy before graduation.

“We definitely could not do it without our partners because there is only so much I can recreate in the classroom,” Mordhorst said, per Community Impact. “When [students] get out into the pharmacies, it gives them that real-world experience that just brings it all together. They can see the connection between the classroom learning and to know what it’s really like to be in a pharmacy.”

The program, however, is not just for students interested in becoming pharmacists. For instance, Grapevine High School senior Cole Burtzlaff is enrolled in the program but views it as a way to gain knowledge to help advance him on his path to becoming an anesthesiologist.

“I just want our students to have options for their future,” Mordhorst told Community Impact. “A pharmacy technician certification is something that they can earn while they’re in school. It’s just one more stepping stone that can lead to a future healthcare career.”

The program consists of more than students just watching pharmacists work. The students will be active interns, helping out at the following local pharmacies:

  • Albertsons Pharmacy
  • Bedford Pharmacy
  • Grapevine Drug RX
  • The outpatient and hospital pharmacies at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center

Grapevine-Colleyville ISD boasts high student achievement scores despite spending fewer taxpayer dollars than other North Texas school districts, such as Dallas ISD, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

According to Texas Education Agency accountability reports, 68% of Grapevine-Colleyville ISD’s students scored at grade level on their STAAR tests during the 2021-2022 school year, and the district graduated 95.7% of its Class of 2022 on time. Meanwhile, it spent about $13,470 per student.

In contrast, Dallas ISD saw only 41% of its students scoring at grade level on their STAAR exams. Additionally, nearly 20% of the district’s graduating Class of 2022 failed to earn a high school diploma in four years. The district also spent roughly $15,188 on each student that same year.

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