While the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) focuses on their goal of High School graduates being college and career ready, Slater High School is taking it one step further: Life Readiness is their target.
“Our staff decided in August that we would seek ways to ensure that our students are life ready, not just ready for jobs or college,” said Slater High School Principal Jessica Clements.
Clements went on to discuss how Slater High School intends to achieve that, saying, “We took a look at formal programs that we have in place. While we’re doing quite a bit in and out of the classrooms, our only current formal program is our HS Honors Diploma. That’s a great program, but it’s not comprehensive in life planning. We’re looking for something that applies to ALL students, regardless of their post-secondary plans.”
Clements and staff members have spent the past several months working out details in what they’re referring to as ‘Life Academy’. Life Academy is a program that will expose Slater High School students to some of the skills that they’ll need after high school – things that don’t necessarily fall into a typical curriculum. “Some of the topics that we’re looking at include Car Care – checking oil and changing a tire, Financial Literacy – understanding the loan and credit score processes, and Interpersonal Skills – listening, presentation, and interviewing skills.”
Clements says that teachers would implement these lessons with the assistance of partner experts from the community, and that they would be delivered on half-days of school that are already on the calendar. Each grade level would receive specific instruction, so that by the end of their High School career, seniors would have received the full spectrum of Life Academy. In addition to completing lessons, Clements envisions Life Academy certification would include student participation in mock interviews, job shadowing, and other pertinent tasks. Students who complete the requirements would wear cords of distinction at graduation commencement. “A lot of work and planning has gone into this, but we’re not done yet,” says Clements. She is asking for input from current and past students, parents, and community members, especially those in human resources departments. “In order for this program to be the most beneficial, we need to get as many minds around the table as possible. The more ideas, the better!”
The Life Academy planning meeting will take place on Wednesday, May 3 at 6:00 pm in the Slater School Library. Anyone interested is encouraged to attend and may contact Jessica Clements (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.