IDEA Public Charter School to Expand Skilled Trades Career Pathways in Collaboration with DC Students Construction Trades Foundation

Media Advisory:  Interview availability at a briefing on May 15, 2015, 1:15 p.m. - 2:00 p.m., at The Hamilton, 600 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005. RSVP and contact: Paula Ralph, DC Students Construction Trades Foundation, Media and Community Relations: 301.622.4145 or

WASHINGTON (May 5, 2015) -- The DC Students Construction Trades Foundation and IDEA Public Charter School are pleased to announce a partnership that will expand the skilled trades career and technical education classes available to IDEA students beginning in fall 2015.

DCSCTF’s 10-year-old Academy of Construction and Design will move to IDEA PCS, complementing IDEA’s current course offerings in architecture, computer-aided design, Microsoft applications, and JROTC. Students will have the opportunity to learn carpentry, electrical, and other specialized skills that can lead to paid apprenticeships as well as careers in such fields as mechanical engineering, construction management, interior design, and electrical engineering.

“We are excited about this partnership and our missions line up extremely well,” says Foundation Board President John M. McMahon, who envisions launching building and renovation projects in the Deanwood neighborhood where IDEA is located to provide hands-on training and education opportunities for students. Academy of Construction and Design graduates built a single-family house that was sold at market value, and students are currently building a micro house that will soon go on the market.  

“IDEA has a long history of providing a variety of future pathways for our scholars,” said IDEA Head of School Justin Rydstrom,” and this outstanding collaboration with the DC Students Construction Trades Foundation enables us to enrich those offerings.” Students in 10th through 12th grades will be able to enroll in construction and trades classes this fall, and freshmen will have opportunities to be introduced to the career and technical education pathways through workshops and volunteer activities.

DC Students Construction Trades Foundation is a leader in technical curriculum and best practices that define the effective career academy model. IDEA is one of the city’s top-performing charter schools, demonstrating students’ academic growth in the top 5% of all District schools. Together, their CTE partnership will create a supportive learning environment and courses that include college, technical, and career preparation plus mentoring from industry training partners and employers.

DC Students Construction Trades Foundation has been an NCCER Accredited Training Sponsor of skilled trades education in the District of Columbia since launching the Academy of Construction and Design in 2005, at Cardozo high school. The relocation of the Academy’s training facility to IDEA PCS this fall will begin DCSCTF’s second decade of providing high school CTE and registered apprenticeship instruction classes for youth and adults in Washington, DC. Learn more about the Academy at  and visit the Foundation at

The mission of IDEA Public Charter School is to prepare students with the academic, social, leadership, and occupational skills for post-secondary opportunities and to be responsible citizens who contribute to the community. Learn more about IDEA at or follow IDEA on Facebook at or Twitter at