ARLINGTON, TN (WMC) - Things look a bit different in Arlington schools this year.
Chalkboards are gone, and all students and teachers are wired in the classroom.
At Arlington schools, every student in grades 5-12 has an iPad or laptop.
The school district has been phasing out traditional textbooks for e-books and offering courses in partnership with local businesses.
Superintendent Tammy Mason said it is an effort to give students choices beyond a four-year college or university.
"What are they going to need out of the workforce?" Mason asked. "Because their workforce is aging and expect high numbers of needs in the next 3 to 5 years we actually worked with them in that partnership in that curriculum on what they need."
In addition, new teachers have been hired specifically to teach students that are interested in technical or vocational courses, so they can be ready to enter the workforce quickly.
"When kids go through the four years and pass the certifications, they can actually leave with an AMR license, which means they can go work in paramedics immediately, but it also sets them up to go to a two-year [college] to get their full paramedics license," Superintendent Tammy Mason said.
Arlington schools also has college professors from Southwest Community College coming to the school to offer classes on campus if students want a jump start on a two-year degree.
There are about 4,500 students in Arlington. Mason said they're projecting a need for a new elementary school in about 5-7 years.