By Catherine Aumoeualogo
Principal, Creekside Middle School
After one year in the NEU Network, Creekside Middle School continues to strive to reach its full potential in each of the six exceptional systems.
Beginning with a determined focus on creating a Culture of Universal Achievement and Powerful Symbolism, teachers and staff dedicated classroom space to NEU bulletin boards. This not only included adopting a college and showcasing the school, but also a personal touch by the teacher of their pathway to success, including diplomas, degrees, and special awards.
A popular student hangout on campus was transformed into the College and Career center and now hosts the Counselor’s Cafe, allowing daily access to speak with and ask questions to the counselors. College flags and other posters are continually added around campus to promote awareness and expose students to new avenues.
As teachers and staff made changes in their environment, their mindset shifted as well. In order to support students in creating a post-secondary plan and exploring new goals, all staff had to show that all students can succeed. This included continued professional development in the six exceptional systems, such as interventions, assessment, and data management.
In order to ensure all Panthers are receiving support in college and career exploration, the Advisory Curriculum has been adjusted and harnesses this as a main focus.
Over the last year and a half, an Advisory Committee has been dedicated to identifying key aspects of career exploration and aligning the college exploration in connection to those careers. The team has reviewed all three grade levels to ensure vertical articulation and fluid transitions.
The addition of Naviance into the Advisory curriculum will allow students to explore interest inventories and surveys to explore career pathways and clusters that interest them. This exposes students to more than one career and more than one option within that career that they may be unaware of.
Making choices based on interests helps students form questions to research post-secondary options that align with those interests. Students then create goals, both long-term and short-term to explore and reach these post-secondary plans.
CMS will be hosting our 4th Annual Career Day on February 23rd in order to bring in real-life experts in fields that students are interested in. Students are able to choose sessions to attend that interest them to explore careers and ask experts within that field.
Presenters include CMS alumni that are current college students providing the opportunity for middle school students to question college students. One question that is often asked is, “How did Creekside prepare you for college?” And the response is usually the same, “it prepared me for high school, which prepared me for college.”
In collaboration with United Patterson, we continually are searching for presenters in a variety of fields to support student interests. If you are interested in presenting, please contact Creekside Middle School, Tiffany Jones at 209-892-4710.