MHS Career and Technical Education Coordinator Greg Benz and Director of Secondary Learning Laura Love updated the Board of Education on the Academic and Career Planning taking place throughout the District at its regular meeting on Monday, May 13.
Benz, who joined MHS this year after previously working in Waunakee and Oconomowoc, noted he was involved with a pilot ACP program in Waunakee years ago. He noted the Wisconsin Legislature passed Act 20 in June 2013 that required Academic and Career Planning for all students in grades 6-12. Districts must be reviewed annually to make sure students are staying on track. Benz noted the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction has left it up to local schools to determine how to implement.
Benz shared at the middle school level ACP occurs in health class for sixth-graders, literacy class for seventh-graders and an ACP course for eighth-graders. He added MHS does a lot of ACP work in advisory. He noted eighth-graders did mock interviews this year and also attended Future Quest at the Alliant Energy Center to learn more about possible careers. MHS is working to identify what each department is teaching with regards to career planning. He also said more than 420 students attended the MHS Job Fair in May.
Benz noted a College and Career Readiness indicator will be added to the State Report Cards in the next year or two. Among the indicators districts will be evaluated on are students involved in Youth Apprenticeship, students getting industry credentials, Advanced Placement classes offered and credits earned and service learning hours acquired by students.
Benz said as of April 29, MHS students this year had compiled more than 22,000 service learning hours, which may be more than any school in the state. MHS offers 21 AP classes worth 1,755 credits this year. He noted last year 60 seniors received their industry credentials, while the YA program has grown from one student in 2013-14 to 15 this year with up to 30 participating next year. Learn more on the DPI website.
What is next? Benz said Wisconsin will be changing from Career Cruising to Xello. He thinks this will result in better data and reports and hopes it will help offer students better opportunities with businesses. Benz and Ben White also will meet with some teachers to develop ACP lessons for advisory periods.