Falcon Zone Graduation Guidelines Summit
District 49 is leading the state in preparing for new graduation guidelines, working over the last three years to begin our implementation. '49 Pathways' is our program to help and guide our students on their secondary education journey. We are working to provide students with options to demonstrate competency-or show what they know-in subjects that reflect Colorado standards and 21st century skills before they can graduate. Their Falcon High School diploma will prove they are ready to enter work, military service, ministry, or college.
Leaders from Falcon High School and Falcon Middle School are working collaboratively to ensure that students who graduate from FHS and Falcon Zone will have in-demand skills that meet business, industry, and higher education standards. Effective collaboration takes all of us; educators, parents and all segments of our community.
While our current eighth graders, the Class of 2021, will be the first class to demonstrate their readiness in core competency areas through the graduation requirements, your input as a parent and experiences as a member of the community are very valuable as we fine-tune what demonstration of competency looks like at Falcon High School.
On Wednesday, Sept. 21, a Graduation Guidelines Summit was held at Falcon Middle School. This community conversation is made available here for parents and community members to participate in the conversation.
Presentation - Guest Speaker
Presentation - Counselors
Questions & Answers From The Summit
Q: Are you doing surveys of middle school students to see what career ready classes can be available to them once they get to sophomore/junior year? (For example, Video Production?)
A: Falcon Middle School conducts ICAP (Individual Career and Academic Plan) workshops with the students each year they are at FMS. These allow students to explore different interests and skills that they have while also receiving information about possible career areas related to these skills and interests. FMS Students also participate in mini courses every November to further explore these interests and learn more about potential careers and interests they would want to pursue in high school. Towards the end of 8th grade, the middle school counselor and high school counselor that will be working with these students collaborate together to provide another ICAP workshop to help ensure students can enroll in the appropriate courses related to these skills and interests. The high school also evaluates this data to see if new courses need to be offered. If the course cannot be offered, then the high school staff will find an opportunity to meet this need.
A: Currently, this in not available. However, FHS assists students with internship opportunities. Students can also earn some industry certifications at the high school that lead to a potential career.
Q: Capstone projects are a culmination of knowledge in a focused area. How do you plan to create a capstone project out of a generalist class structure?
A: District 49 is currently working to put together a guidebook of a multitude of capstone options for students to choose from. Students would be able to develop and create their own project within the guidebook parameters to demonstrate the specific math, science, English/language arts, etc. standards.
Q: Can district capstone and or industry certifications be used for students in lieu of scores on traditional exams?
A: Yes! Students could demonstrate competency of the high school standards through a variety of options. Test scores are one way, however, we recognize that tests may not be the best option for all students to demonstrate mastery. The capstone project and industry certification options allow students to demonstrate competency and complete the graduation requirements through that project or certification. This option will also assist students with an ELL, GT, and/or Special Education plan.
Q: Where can we find info for kids who need a less traditional path so that we can help guide our kids?
A: The counselors at both FMS and FHS can assist parents in helping to develop an appropriate pathway. These conversations will begin at the middle school level as students work to complete the first portions of the ICAP. It will continue in through high school as well.
Q: How will teachers implement different grading standards for students of different grades in the same class?
A: High School courses are not set up with specific grade level standards; they are organized with specific content standards. For example, a student in a Geometry class will be evaluated on their competency of the Geometry standards, not 10th or 11th grade math standards.
A: Both FMS & FHS are utilizing a competency based grading system. What students currently see at FMS will be very similar to what they will experience at FHS. We are working to ensure strong alignment so that students do not have to experience different systems.