Just spent a couple hours at Jackson Hole High School in Jackson, WY. They have put a new program in place designed to focus on college readiness. Like many of us, they looked at data and designed a program that fit their needs. This program is still in its infantile stages but shows great promise to meet their needs.
Essentially, this program is designed as a four-year focused, non-content specific, meet the needs of all kids type program. They begin with their freshman students having a rotation through 15 different teachers over the course of the year. Students learn many different topics in the freshman transition, from financial literacy to study skills to anti-bullying training. As sophomores, the students learn a great deal of technology use (powerpoint, word, research on the internet, what makes a cite-able source, etc) then begin ACT test prep late that year. As juniors, the bulk of the focus is ACT test prep – right after ACT prep it is all about college applications, FASFA, resume building, career exploration. Nice program with a great deal of staff buy-in. Jim Rooks, the AP in the building, has really got it figured out (from an administrative standpoint). He knows that not everyone will ‘buy-in’ if they aren’t put on the spot. Thus, everyone, and I do mean everyone, has a role in this program. there is no hiding on the sidelines here…
The school uses a modified block schedule (meaning they block their normal 7 period day on Tuesdays and Wednesdays) thus giving them one extra 90 minute block every Wednesday…this is when the college-prep period takes place…everyone takes it and it counts for a grade and credit toward graduation and GPA.
I am looking forward to learning more from Jim…If you are interested, call him at Jackson Hole High School and tell him I sent ya!!
Yours in education