District to debut Army JROTC at Connally
June 20, 2019
Pflugerville ISD will debut its first-ever Army Junior ROTC program at Connally High School during the 2019-20 school year.
The program will actually be the only one of its kind in the Austin area. The closest Army JROTC unit is more than 53 miles away in Harker Heights, near Killeen.
The Connally unit joins the Hendrickson High School Marine Corps Junior ROTC unit in Pflugerville ISD. Both programs will be open to students in grades 9-12, with intra- and out-of-district transfers currently being accepted.
“We’re excited to provide this option to students,” PfISD Superintendent of Schools Dr. Doug Killian said. “JROTC in general does a great job with leadership development, and will lend more career readiness and college options for our students upon graduation.”
PfISD’s application for an Army JROTC unit was approved in April. PfISD board members unanimously approved it on May 16.
A character development and citizenship program, Army JROTC currently operates in more than 1,700 public and private high schools, military institutions and correctional centers throughout the United States and overseas. Nearly 4,000 instructors – retired from active or reserve duty or National Guard Army service – are trained to teach and mentor approximately 314,000 cadets annually in accordance with the National Defense Authorization Act of 2007.
According to the Army JROTC official website, female cadets make up 40 percent of the cadet population program-wide.
JROTC curriculum includes lessons in leadership, health and wellness, physical fitness, first-aid, geography, American history and government, communications and emotional intelligence.
Cadets must participate in co-curricular activities to reinforce what is learned in the classroom. Some of these activities include precision and exhibition military drill competitions; air rifle competitions; Leadership and Academic Bowl; Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Camp; and physical fitness contests.
“The Army JROTC places a strong emphasis on character education,” said Connally Principal Sheila Reed. “Character education is a key component of our campus and we are thrilled to support and offer this opportunity to our students.”
Five indices are commonly used to gauge program success: attendance, graduation, discipline, dropout rate and GPA. Army JROTC programs often exceed school averages in those categories.
The PfISD intra-district transfer window will close on June 28. For more information on intra-district transfers, visit www.Pfisd.net/transfers .