Middle School Individual Student Planning
Building on the foundation provided in elementary school, students begin to plan for the future during the middle school years through the individual student planning component. During this period, students’ plans focus on high school course selection, considering graduation requirements and the requirements for their post-secondary educational and occupational goals, culminating in a Personal Plan of Study. School counseling curriculum activities continue to support and guide the planning process. Middle School Individual Student Planning is implemented through the following strategies:
- Appraisal: All students and their parents/guardians need to understand the role assessments play in course selection and preparation for high school assessments. In an effort to assist and support students and parents with this analysis, school counselors coordinate efforts with teachers and administrators in order to interpret test results for parents/guardians and students. Additionally, school counselors introduce high school coursework to all eighth students and connect how their choices influence post-secondary plans. Students may be unsure of their future career plans, but most should have an understanding of the Career Path or Cluster associated with their interests and abilities. School counselors also assist students with understanding the level of post-secondary education for which they plan to prepare. No later than the end of the eighth grade year, all students will create an initial Personal Plan of Study which encompasses high school planning, coursework, and post-secondary plans.
- Education/Career Planning: During middle school, students have career exploration opportunities for more in-depth investigations of the career paths that reflect their emerging preferences in such things as school and community activities and subject areas, as well as personal strengths and limitations. Middle School Individual Student Planning includes gathering information about specific careers within the career paths of greatest interest to individual students. As students prepare for the transition from middle school to high school, they are required to develop a Personal Plan of Study. The middle school career development lessons address the comprehensive school counseling curriculum Grade Level Expectations.
- Transitions: Middle school continues to be a time of transition. As students adjust to the changing expectations of each grade level, school counselors and school staff address these transitions. To help students transition from elementary to middle school, the middle school counselors coordinate activities with the elementary school counselors to provide orientation for students. An orientation allows students to become acquainted with their new school and teachers, and eases anxieties and concerns. Another orientation for middle school students entering high school will be held, either at the end of the eighth grade year. An Individual Student Planning Resource File is compiled as middle school students continue through each grade level. Students’ Middle School Resource Files come in various forms with shared responsibility between the student, the home and the school. These materials will aid in the development of a Personal Plan of Study.