Lodi Unified School District and San Joaquin Delta College have begun collaborating to develop Valley Robotics Academy, which will eventually serve seventh-grade students up to high school seniors.

Jeff Palmquist, assistant superintendent of secondary education for LUSD, said on Friday that students will use Delta College’s robotics laboratory, while at least some of the classes will be taught at a district school site.

“We can’t speculate exactly where that will be, but we know that it will be in part with us and in part with Delta,” Palmquist said.

Although Delta and LUSD officials had initially discussed expanding their existing partnership through Middle College High School, Palmquist said the conversation turned toward developing a new collaborative project after they realized expanding Middle College would be too difficult.

With Delta College interested in growing their robotics and LUSD interested in increasing the number of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs they offer, Palmquist said the school officials came up with the idea for Valley Robotics Academy.

“We’re really excited about that,” Palmquist said. “It seems like it’s going to be a beautiful partnership.”

The next step, Palmquist said, will be to form a committee to identify a potential location, develop strategies to recruit students and determine enrollment size, determine how the courses will meet career technical education standards and develop class schedules.

“We’re hoping to meet within the next week or two,” Palmquist said.

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