During an awards ceremony at the conclusion of the 10th annual Focus on Freshmen conference, Arkansas City High School was awarded a silver medal in front of several hundred educators from across the country.

USD 470 logoThe award was presented by Olympic gold medalist Dain Blanton and given in recognition of the time, energy, and attention devoted to the Career and Life Planning/Individual Plans of Study program, which is aimed at increasing student success.

ACHS Principal David Zumwalt said the school was recognized for its work in carrying out the important Kansas State Department of Education initiative of having students design and plan their future. “We were pleased to receive this recognition,” Zumwalt said. “We believe strongly that it’s possible to teach students to not only dream it, but to plan it and do it.”

As a silver medal school, ACHS has demonstrated exemplary implementation of the Career Choices series, an award-winning curriculum that builds college and career readiness skills as it walks students through the development of a personalized 10-year plan.

These materials, from publisher Academic Innovations, align with the national Freshman Transition Standards from George Washington University’s Freshman Transition Initiative and provide the foundation course for the Get Focused…Stay Focused! Initiative.

“By developing a 10-year education and career plan in a Freshman Transition course, young people learn how to project into the future and understand the consequences of the choices they make today,” said Mindy Bingham, founder of Academic Innovations and Career Choices co-author. “Students who do this are far less likely to drop out of high school, abuse substances or become teen parents because they understand the ways in which their actions today will impact the rest of their lives.”

The ACHS team is committed to enhancing student success and workforce readiness in Cowley County. For details about the national Freshman Transition model program, visit www.freshmantransition.org.

This information was provided by USD 470 Public Relations Director Alisha Call.