In the area of ACADEMIC DEVELOPMENT , what do students want to achieve in school this year? In Navigation, we give students the opportunity to learn to assess their own work and then build on their strengths to improve. Students’ goals in this area may be simple – such as attending class or doing homework – or they may be more ambitious, focused on taking advanced classes or preparing for postsecondary. As we’ll discuss later, students develop and reflect on academic goals throughout the Navigation year, including in the development of their annual Academic Improvement Plans (soon to be called Academic Inventories), in their course plans (soon to be called Four Year Plans) and in their annual drafts of the OSPI-required High School & Beyond Plan.
In the area of CAREER DEVELOPMENT , students spend significant amounts of time in Navigation each year exploring their dreams for the future and then learning about what they need to do now to prepare for the future. This is where Navigation is particularly helpful: in helping students make connections between vague and distant goals for the future (such as, I want to be an engineer) to specific goals for this year and next year that will help the student prepare (such as I need to take pre-Calculus next year and find a job shadow at an engineering firm). Advisors are aided by the Navigation lesson plans to guide students to the tools that are available at each grade level: students may be able to take interest assessments, explore career pathways, research the educational needs for different careers, or aim to enroll in the courses they need to prepare themselves for a career dream. Navigation can also help students explore alternative options: what else would they like to do? What would that alternative dream require?
In the area of PERSONAL & SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT, students are given opportunities each year to continue to define who they are and who they are becoming. Students are also encouraged – and given support – to become contributing members of the school community, and of the larger community. They are encouraged to join activities and get engaged in the life of the school – both to participate and also because research shows that students who are engaged and involved at school are significantly less likely to drop out. Students are also encouraged to learn how they can contribute, both to the school community and to the larger communities in which they live: Navigation helps provide structure for students to embark on volunteer service projects and to make service to others a key part of who they are.