Aspire to Excellence

NewsCheck

From the Classroom to Career

Aspire to Excellence Every APS student will be college and career-ready upon graduation. This is an ambitious goal and all of us at APS play a critical role in ensuring that this happens for every one of our students.

The key element to student readiness is early planning, which begins at the elementary level and continues throughout a student’s academic career. This includes post-secondary decision making. Here in APS, we strive to provide accurate, useful and timely information to students and families; delivered in various formats that target key decision points during a student’s educational and career plans.

Aspire2Excellence is the APS academic planning initiative designed to provide students and families with pertinent information as they plan for the future. Aspire2Excellence underscores the importance of taking rigorous courses and meeting advanced graduation requirements in order to be ready for life after high school. Students and families need to begin planning as early as elementary school and should know the following:

  • Academic options available throughout APS
  • Importance of taking advanced courses in middle and high school
  • Math course pathways
  • World language options
  • Difference between the standard and advanced diploma

While the school counselor is the person responsible for assisting the student with development of the academic plan; teachers and staff, administrators and parents share responsibility and have a critical role in ensuring that each student meets the goals of their academic plan. It is essential for all APS staff to be informed, trained, and engaged in all communications efforts around academic planning for students.

The Departments of Student Services and Special Education, in collaboration with the Superintendent and School & Community Relations have developed an academic planning playbook to be used by staff to learn more about the role we all play in academic planning. The playbook will assist school staff to customize its efforts to meet the needs of students and families in their community. The playbook can be used by all staff.

Meeting the needs of all of our students and families will require targeted and differentiated academic planning sessions to promote the message that all students are expected to pursue a rigorous academic pathway to meeting their advanced diploma requirements. Students must establish a strong foundation at the elementary level to be prepared for the rigorous courses they will take in middle school, high school and in their post-secondary career. Student engagement and strategic outreach that leverages relationships with families, partners and community volunteers is important to ensuring student success.

An academic planning roadmap and several other tools that can be used and shared with students and families are available online at www.apsva.us/academicplan and www.apsva.us/collegecorner.

We look forward to an amazing school year full of exciting learning opportunities for our students, as we collectively support their development from the classroom to career.

For more information, contact your school counselor.