A framework of curriculum planning aids students and their parents in this process. An effective curriculum framework must have high standards and expectations for all students, a rigorous curriculum that prepares them for post-secondary education and engaging instructional strategies designed to help students learn important concepts and ideas in depth. The curriculum framework used by Anderson One includes a rigorous curriculum design and a requirement that each student develop a challenging Individual Graduation Plan (IGP).
Working with their parents, counselors, teachers and advisors, students develop plans that include academic as well as profession-related courses. Their plans also identify extended learning opportunities that are designed to prepare students for transition to post-secondary education and the workplace.
Anderson One strives to provide a comprehensive curriculum to address the individual needs of all our students. The framework design allows for an integrated, multi-dimensional approach to planning that helps students become more successful learners for high school and beyond. The framework provides a structure for planning and communicating high expectations.
A comprehensive curriculum framework includes the following elements:
A Career Cluster of study is a means of organizing instruction and student experiences around broad categories that encompass virtually all occupations from entry level through professional levels. Clusters of study provide a way to organize and tailor coursework and learning experiences around areas of interests. Clusters of study are designed to provide a seamless transition from high school study to post-secondary study and/or the workforce. The are 14 clusters of study from which to choose from:
A cluster of study has several majors. A major consists of the completion of at least four required units of study in that area. It is recommended that students take at least one course at the highest level offered.
An IGP consists of the state high school graduation requirements and/or college entrance requirements. In addition, course recommendations for successful completion of a major that aligns to post-secondary education and the workplace are included.
The United States Department of Education (USDE) has developed 16 national clusters of study as a means of organizing the curriculum. The Secondary Curriculum Framework for Anderson School District One is designed around these 16 national clusters with a slight revision. In addition, Anderson One organized its clusters around 14 of these national clusters. The district’s curriculum currently provides the opportunity for students to complete a major in 28 career areas. Choosing a cluster of study and a major requires students to assess interests and skills, then select coursework to achieve his or her academic goals while exploring a professional goal. In the spring of eighth grade, students choose one of the 14 clusters to explore. This takes place during an individual planning conference with an advisor, the student and his or her parent(s). In ninth grade, students select at least one of the 28 majors to explore.
A major is designed to enable students to focus on an area of interest that motivates them to stay in school, to be better prepared for post-secondary choices and/or the workplace, and to make a smooth transition to post-secondary education and/or the workplace. Each student who completes the requirements for a major will receive special recognition at graduation.
Individual Graduation Plan
The purpose of the Individual Graduation Plan (IGP) is to assist students and their parents in exploring educational and professional possibilities, and in making appropriate secondary and post-secondary decisions. The IGP is part of the career folder. It builds on the coursework, assessments and counseling in middle and high school. The IGP is not intended to reflect all aspects of the high school experience.
Developing the IGP
School counselors, Career Development Facilitators and advisors begin working with students regarding interests, clusters of study, majors, post-secondary choices and high school options through individual and group counseling in the sixth grade. This includes information on academic and professional goals, career activities and access to career resources. Teacher and parental involvement throughout this process is vital.
*Students are never locked into a specific cluster or major. Students can change majors if their professional interests change. They can use the curriculum framework, with its clusters of study, majors, and career assessment information in making these decisions.
In order to graduate with a major, students must complete four units of study from the offerings identified on district templates.
Complementary courses are drawn from both academic and professional-related courses that support the major. Complementary courses are chosen based on their reinforcement of skills students must master relative to the major. Students are encouraged but not required to enroll in complementary courses.
The IGP identifies learning experiences outside the classroom designed to make learning relevant and to give students an awareness of work associated with the major. Examples of extended learning opportunities include shadowing, career mentoring, service learning, internships, cooperative education, apprenticeships, senior projects, career information delivery system exposure and career-related student organizations.