Return to Headlines

Individual plans of study ensure every student is Future Ready

Individual plans of study ensure every student is Future Ready

Marshall teacher Brooke Dickey helping a student take the Xello Matchmaker survey. The Wichita Public Schools is in the process of developing individual plans of study for every high school student, which will help them create a path to ensure success after high school. The individual plans of study will help students understand what courses they should take based on their interests to prepare them for the career they want after graduation.

“We don’t want them to just take classes because they like the teacher or that’s where their friends are, we are actually trying to prepare them for post-secondary success whether that’s a career or college,” said Assistant Superintendent Gil Alvarez.

Currently, students in 7th grade take a matchmaker survey on the Xello computer program. The students answer questions about their interests, their personality style and their learning style. Based on the results, it shows them careers that match their interests and also shows salary, amount of education needed, if it’s an industry that’s in demand and workload. The students take it again in 9th grade to see if their interests have changed and to guide students to consider classes that match their interests.

“A counselor can say to a student, ‘I see you’re interest in engineering, but you’re not taking any pre-engineering courses. I see that you’re interested in art, but you aren’t taking any art classes. Is that something that you’re truly interested in?’ Xello allows us to have those conversations with students and parents to make better-informed choices,” Alvarez said.

Marshall Middle School students in Brooke Dickey’s seventh-grade language arts class recently completed the matchmaker survey on Xello.

“I think it’s interesting to see what their results are,” Dickey said. “I like how it shows them if they need a bachelor’s degree, or whether they will need some sort of technical training for that career. It gets them to start thinking about their future and plant those seeds about what they could do.”

Dickey said her students like to spend a lot of time looking at the different careers and exploring their options.

“There are careers that many of them didn’t know existed,” she said.

Later in the school year, she plans to have her students work on a project centered on one of their top choices so they can learn more about that career.

WPS plans to fully implement the individual plans of study next school year.