Board of Ed Candidates Answer Question #4 from CQE

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Question #4

Many would say, "The fork in the road to college can be found in the middle school." How can we optimize success for college and careers by focusing on the middle school curriculum, programming, etc.?

Rose deVries:

Since my first term on the Board in 2007 I have been advocating for a fully articulated district wide guidance curriculum focusing on grades 6- 12 for college and career planning and a guidance supervisor to develop and administer the guidance curriculum. Since purchasing the college and career planning software Naviance, I have advocated for full implementation beginning in the middle school and following through the high school. Last summer, the district hired a Supervisor of Guidance. Having a supervisor to coordinate guidance between the middle school and the high school will ensure that planning for college and career success is a smooth path that begins in middle school with full use of a guidance curriculum and Naviance, http://www.naviance.com/.

Jonathan Lifton:

Having two children currently in Edgar Middle School, I can attest to the many difficult transitions children of that age are going through. There are tremendous academic and social pressures which students must deal with in order to excel and position themselves for a successful High

School career. Recognizing these challenges, the Middle School has focused on increasing the support students can access. There is a new "advisory" program where all Edgar students meet with their peers to discuss issues at the Middle School. The restructuring of the guidance

department on a district-wide level has led to a much more active partnership between the High School and Edgar guidance departments. Naviance access has been extended to all students at the Middle School. These changes and enhancements are designed to help Edgar students

become aware and serious about their High School and post High School careers at an earlier age, and help them make the choices that will enable them to reach their goals.

Michael Stern:

I absolutely agree with that statement. The middle school experience is incredibly important which is why I think our children need to be exposed to more unique learning opportunities early in their middle school experience. As a school system, we need to keep a close eye on emerging career trends and respond rapidly through agile curriculum decisions that will position kids to be most competitive in college and in life.

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