Academic planning is a process that begins early in elementary school and continues throughout middle and high school. The school counselor works with each student and family in elementary school to provide information on the various options in APS through classroom guidance lessons, individual meetings with students and family workshops. The school counselor advises students and families as they make informed decisions about what opportunities are available to meet rigorous graduation requirements in middle and high school. We encourage families to begin early planning in elementary school and to stress to their child the importance of taking challenging courses in middle and high school that will lead to broader choices in post-secondary education.
In middle and high school, the school counselor works with each student in grades 6-12 to develop an individualized personal academic plan. The academic plan links the student’s career interests to course selection and leads to meeting rigorous graduation requirements with a strong correlation to post-graduation goals. During the academic planning process, each student has the opportunity to discuss her/his educational and career goals. Students also engage in career exploration that helps them learn more about their interests and how these interests match with a potential career field. This information allows the school counselor to help the student and family determine the optimal academic plan for achieving rigorous graduation requirements as the student prepares for a successful route to college or a career after high school. Along with the school counselor, the student and family review the academic plan to determine which graduation requirements have been met and the plan is revised to reflect the student’s accomplishments.