Network Niche

College and Career Readiness Every Day

Take a look at what one school did to promote and embed college and career readiness every day. While a monumental effort, each idea can help re-set school culture and expectations. In the case of Childersburg High School in Talladega, Ala., "bold action, targeted initiatives, and a fresh approach to teaching and learning" have resulted in an 86% decline in the dropout rate and a 19% decline in tardiness. More than 80% of students are now involved in clubs, sports, and other school organizations. Some of the 15 ways the school has created a college- and career-focused culture are quoted below.

What might work at your school? As this school demonstrated, "Students care about their futures and will respond with great passion and enthusiasm when the adults in their life show them how much they care as well."

To read the entire article, go to tln_barnett_culture.html?tkn=YOSFu1OrwPHlM

Survey of Career Readiness

The phrase college and career ready has received much attention since the Common Core State Standards raised awareness of the need to prepare students for the world after high school. In our work with schools and districts across the country, we have found that college readiness is much easier for educators to define than career readiness.

Under the leadership of Bill Daggett, the Network is developing a new initiative related to defining and supporting career readiness. To begin, we are seeking the advice and perspectives of education leaders and practitioners, including of course all Network members.

Please take 10 minutes to share your understanding of career readiness by going to Your input will help us assess thought leadership on the topic and to identify trends and best practices among schools and districts across the country.

We will share our findings and focus our ongoing work — research, conferences, and advisory services — on helping schools and districts prepare students to graduate both college and career ready. We appreciate your participation and welcome any feedback you may have. Please feel free to contact us with any questions (518) 723‐2063.



Student Leadership

The motto of Ponderosa High School in Parker, Colo., is Learn, Lead, Exceed. The school begins leadership development in 9th grade, as the student council (STUCO) is comprised of students from all four grade levels. STUCO plans schoolwide events that promote school spirit and makes sure that Ponderosa has a connection to the Parker community. A detailed curriculum developed by an advisor supports the Colorado High School Activities Association STUCO leadership and training program. Students enrolled in STUCO learn about leadership, setting goals and evaluation, meeting skills and communication, planning and organization, marketing and publicity, diversity, belonging and issue awareness, spirit and sportsmanship, school and community service, and leadership beyond high school.

In support of the Douglas County Board of Education End Statements, students acquire the knowledge and abilities to be responsible citizens who contribute to society. Students apply what they have learned, going beyond merely knowing to using their knowledge and skills productively so they can lead with integrity to influence the future. Students who want to be involved in STUCO complete a leadership nomination packet that requires two teacher recommendations, a 2.5 minimum GPA, and an essay.

The administrative team focused on how to make leadership a hands-on experience of all aspects of leadership. Therefore a class was created with this purpose in mind. Since STUCO has class during 5th period, it allows the students to have contact with the entire student body during lunch. Students in STUCO check in with their peers each Wednesday during homeroom and conduct surveys throughout the year to keep in touch with the students they represent and make sure their inputs are heard.

Representatives from STUCO meet with the administrative team every Monday at the beginning of 2nd period to share and discuss what they are working on in the upcoming weeks. STUCO is the first item on the agenda each Monday morning, and the students come prepared with proposals for approval, etc.

The ultimate goal will be for the upper classmen to teach their younger peers about leadership and provide another opportunity for students to put what they are learning into action.

For more information, contact AP/Activities Director Elizabeth Gardner at