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New scheduling process begins

Starting this year, counselors will start to prepare students for their future high school years and help them get on track to prepare for their futures.
Guidance Counselor Jessica Kempa said that due to state requirements, this change has been implemented and should better prepare students.
“In an effort to improve students’ college and career readiness, along with state requirements under MSIP 6, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (DESE) accountability measures, the district has adopted a change in the student enrollment process to focus on four year academic planning,” Kempa said.
Principal Dr. Emily McCown said that due to a state law, the class registration process will begin sooner.
“As part of a state law, all high school students are required to do a four year plan. So because of the time it’ll take to do that, we’ve started the enrollment process a little bit earlier,” McCown said.
Kempa said that she thinks this will benefit students as they can learn about the future opportunities.
“We don’t anticipate this affecting scheduling too much in the future. If anything, it only helps students better understand how the classes they take in high school can help them in their future careers,” Kempa said.
Matthew Berry, Coordinator of K-12 School Counseling for the district, said the changes being made allows students to make a plan for their high school career which will be reviewed each year.
“The changes to the scheduling process provides an opportunity for students to build an academic plan over their high school years. Beginning this year, eighth grade students will be selecting courses, not just for their ninth grade year, but for all four years of high school. Each year, students will review their academic plan and make necessary changes that best meet their academic and career plans,” Berry said.
McCown explained that counselors spoke to students during their classes and explained the new process which requires students to choose classes for future years.
“The counselors went into biology classes and explained what they need to register for in tenth grade as well as eleventh grade. We do the same process with tenth graders; counselors will be going into world language classes. They’ll plan out their eleventh and twelfth grade years,” McCown said.
Berry said these changes create plans for students that fall under a Missouri state law that will help guide students and better prepare them for after graduation.
“The changes are being made to align with expectations within state law that every Missouri student beginning in eighth grade should have a completed individual career and academic plan (ICAP). The benefits of our change and of the ICAP are that [it] will intentionally guide students and families in the exploration of career, academic and multiple post-secondary opportunities,” Berry said.
Kempa said that prompting students to think about their future is a good way to investigate their interests.
“Placing focus on the future is meant to encourage students to explore their interests and consider how those interests might be a part of their future plans. As students make their way through a variety of learning experiences, their interests are likely to change and evolve over time. Plans will be open each year to revision and changes,” Kempa said.

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About the Contributor
Madison Springett, Editor-In-Chief
Class of 2024 Time on staff: 4 years Favorite newspaper memory: Sending off my first newspaper as editor Favorite song: "‘98 Braves" by Morgan Wallen

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