Article 5: Tools help students map careers
By Citrus County School District
© St. Petersburg Times, published March 1, 2001
This is the fifth in a series of articles to inform the community on the progress of Citrus County Schools' Strategic Plan. This article focuses on the two teams that focus on providing a meaningful, flexible curriculum that engages all students (Aim IA) and graduating students prepared for careers (Aim 3).
Implementation Team IA had been hard at work analyzing all of our curriculum, programs and activities using the Plan, Do, Study, Act process, establishing baseline information about where we are to identify areas of continued focus. They have identified the three measures the district will use to measure progress toward meeting their goals. The district will be reporting the percentage of students scoring 3 and above on FCAT reading, math, and writing. We will also measure the percentage of students making a year's growth in all three academic areas.
Additionally, we will contact students and survey them to find out how satisfied they are with the quality of work they receive. The first draft of the survey is finished. The next step is to survey a small group of students to make sure the survey is effective in gaining the desired information.
Implementation Team IA also focuses on making sure teachers and schools have the resources necessary to provide an engaging, flexible curriculum. The idea is to conduct a study to determine the most effective method for instructing students using our curriculum and provide money for those resources.
Implementation Team 3 has focused on activities to ensure students graduate ready for their chosen career whether they plan entry into postsecondary education or the work force. To accomplish this, two initiatives have been identified.
First, an electronic career preparation tool has been in development and will be implemented next year. This allows guidance counselors to enter the students' career plans into the computer so they can view the plan every time they meet with the students. Upon entry into high school, a four-year plan of course work is designed for students to ensure they meet their career goals.
Implementation Team 3 has been developing a Career Preparation Model that includes career pathways and career clusters. Students, along with their parents, will meet with counselors to choose their pathways and clusters. Students can select Professional Preparation, Technical Preparation, or Direct Employment pathways.
The next step is finalizing the five career clusters for students to choose. All five of these clusters meet qualifications for entry into college. Students will now know what courses they will be taking in high school; perhaps more importantly, they will know why they are taking them. The goal is to provide student focus, increase motivation, and reduce dropout rates. Students do have the opportunity to change their programs at various points during their high school career.
Implementation Team 3 has worked cooperatively with Aim 4 in the development of an Education Academy. This academy will comprise approximately 25 high school students brought together through a class. They will go into schools and work with teachers as paraprofessional teaching assistants. They will act as mentors and do some instruction under the supervision of teachers.
There also will be an adult education program that will train or retrain people to work as teacher aides and, it is hoped, move on to college to become teachers.
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