Academic Planning Map
APS requires that every student in grades 6-12 have an academic plan which charts the sequence of courses that each student will take throughout middle and high school. The plan will reflect high expectations, be based on the talents, interests and challenges of each student. We are aware that students’ goals for careers and higher education change, sometimes dramatically, as they progress through middle and high school and learn about new opportunities. Each year the student and school counselor will review the academic plan and make revisions as needed.
The purpose of the academic plan is to create an individualized personal plan that links the student’s career interests to course selection that leads to meeting graduation requirements as well identifies post-graduation goals. During the academic planning process, each student has the opportunity to meet with the school counselor to discuss her/his educational and career goals. Students have an opportunity to engage in career exploration that helps them learn more about how their interests match with a career field before they meet with the school counselor. This information helps the student and the school counselor in determining the best course selection for meeting the graduation requirements as well as developing a plan for life after graduation. Parents and families are strongly encouraged to be a part of the meeting to learn more about their student’s career interests, the various academic options for earning a diploma, the difference between diploma types as well as the most appropriate challenging course selection. College and career information is also provided during the meeting.
What is the academic planning map?
The academic planning map is a tool designed to assist students and families to successfully navigate the PreK-12 school experience in Arlington Public Schools (APS). This planning tool can also be used as a resource for students and families to assist with planning and goal setting to accomplish academic success. The academic planning map includes:
- Critical information that students and families should know at each grade level related to the different content areas;
- Action items designed to empower and prompt students and families to ask questions of school staff;
- Tips and suggestions for supporting and enriching students’ academic experiences.
What is the purpose of the academic planning map?
Whether a student is in elementary, middle or high school, one key to success is early planning. The purpose of the academic planning map is to:
- Empower students and families with information;
- Encourage early planning for college and career readiness;
- Prepare students to take advantage of available opportunities;
- Assist students to take challenging courses early in their school career;
- Help student to develop a strong academic foundation in English, reading, math, science, social studies,world languages and fine arts;
- Build an academic plan that will lead to success in college and a future career.
How should the academic planning map be used?
The academic planning map can be used in many different ways. Here are few suggestions for students and families:
- Review the map and focus on one area at a time;
- Start with the current grade level;
- Read a grade level ahead of where the student currently is to begin planning as the student moves forward to the next higher level;
- Ask students questions to test their knowledge;
- Discuss information that may be new or exciting;
- Use the “Focus” section to set goals;
- Use the “Take Action” section to ask questions of school staff.