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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Planning for Student Success

A little over a year ago, the CT State Board of Education adopted a rather ambitious position statement on measuring student success.  What follows is an excerpt - "The State Board of Education defines successful students as those who can read, write, compute, analyze information, think critically and creatively, solve problems, communicate effectively, and use technology.  All students should also enjoy and perform in the arts and athletics, and understand history, science, and other cultures and languages.  Each student must share ample responsibility for his or her learning and behavior, be able to persevere at complex tasks, work well with and be helpful to others, and contribute to the community.  All students must graduate from high school and be prepared to continue their education, become productive members of the workforce and function in the global economy.  Ultimately, students must become engaged citizens and lifelong learners who lead healthy and productive lives."  Of course missing from this position statement are the benchmarks that define success in each of these areas.  Without it, who is to say  when success has been reached?  How would we know?  That is apparently left for high schools to decide.

Anyway, the EOSHS Guidance Department is moving towards an objective that will see every student with a plan for success.  Called the Student Success Plan (SSP), it will be an electronic portfolio that will be constructed over a four-plus-year period.  It will begin in the latter part of 8th grade and conclude near the end of each student's senior year.  This SSP will include cognitive and affective data that should help students determine readiness for success with postsecondary options and it should help them to choose their options wisely.  Each student is required to complete Geography - the study of places,etc. in this world of ours.  Consider this SSP exercise an informal course called "Biography" - the study of oneself and the position s/he holds in this world.  The SSP will be comprised of the following;

8th Grade - tentative four-year plan of study, goals to achieve in high school
9th Grade - reading assessment, transition survey, self-confidence inventory, personality assessment, revision of plan of study
10th Grade - career interest profile, American Dream exercise, resume, revision of plan of study, CAPT
11th Grade - PSAT/Accuplacer, postseconday plan, resume, reflection, SAT, revision of plan of study
12th Grade - SAT/Accuplacer, postsecondary plan, resume, transcript review, application process

Most all of these plans will be stored in Naviance and available for viewing from any computer and at any time.  More information about these plans will be presented in blogs to follow.  One previous post already included information about the transition survey.  The next blog will address the issue of self-confidence, or the "Little Red Engine That Could".

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