After identifying a need to provide students with a more systematic way of exploring attitudes and career interests, London is currently revamping its Career Advising Policy and future practices. Currently, the district provides students a wide array of opportunities to explore college and career choices. However, not all of these practices are systematic. In December of 2019, the district entered into an agreement with Naviance to offer students and families a career planning platform. Around the same time, the Madison County Business Advisory Council recommended that county districts utilize a particular aptitude identification program. Using both resources and beginning in sixth grade, London plans to have students identify aptitudes and interests and complete student success plans. Plans would like student skills and interests with future goals and be documented using Naviance’s career planning platform. The student success plans will be updated twice a year prior to parent-teacher conferences in order to help guide students, parents, and educators in planning courses, discussing grades, etc. based on a student’s ultimate goals. It is expected that goals may change several times as students explore and develop new interests.
Not coincidentally, London High School is also exploring adopting a block schedule beginning in 2020-2021. A block schedule means instead of students taking 6-8 courses that meet throughout the year, they will be enrolled in four courses during the fall semester and another four courses during the spring semester. The primary advantage is to provide students with greater opportunities to complete coursework during high school that is more attuned to their college and career goals especially as Juniors and Seniors, when they may choose to take college coursework, participate in internships, or enter the world of work through career based intervention. London Middle School, which already hosts a Life Fair annually, would add a dedicated career exploration curriculum for students during their exploratory lab periods.
Final recommendations for a change to the district’s Career Advising Policy and Student Success Plan is expected later this spring.