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June 5, 2007     Cape Gazette
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June 5, 2007

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28- CAPE GAZETTE- Tuesday, June 5- Thursday, June 7, 2007 SCHOOL & 00EDUCATION I I Delaware provides Career Cruising tools By Georgia Leonhart Cape Gazette staff Delaware wants its students to succeed and it is willing to provide the tools to help make that happen. That was the message from Secretary of Education Valerie Woodruff at the Student Success Summit April 27. Attended by several hundred educators from throughout the state, the summit addressed new regula- tory requirements for student success plans and the Career Cruising computer software package designed to help make those plans a reality. Blueprint to success "I have succeeded in my life because of the touch of one teacher," said keynote speaker Robert Barr. "Education is the ulti- mate civil right. It is the only door of opportunity." Describing educators as the stewards of the good life, Barr said earning a high school diploma is no longer a proper place to end one's educational journey. A high school diploma is only a plateau for further learning for all students, he said, presenting data showing there is almost no difference between the earning capacity of a high school dropout and a person with a high school diploma and nothing more. "The technological revolution has rolled over us," Barr said. People aren't making things in the world's most profitable facto- ries. Industrial robots are, he added. "No one wants a kid who is uneducated," Barr said. That includes the military. "We have smart bombs. We can't have dumb soldiers." The blueprint to success, Barr said, is to emphasize small groups of teachers and students, to close the gap and to expect more of students. "They will rise up to your level of expectation," he said. Student success plans Delaware's Department of Education Delaware Secretary Henlopen High School Summit held April 27. Georgia Leonhart photo of Education Valerie Woodruff visits with Cape Principal John Yore during the Student Success agrees. To help students create a success plan it has acquired access to Career Cruising software that will be used by stu- dents in all of the state's middle schools and high schools. Career Cruising representatives said the software was designed to help students plan their future. To help them make decisions, it offers assessment tools, detailed occupa- tion profiles and information about addi- tional educational requirements and oppor- tunities. The use of student success plans was piloted in the Milford, Christina and Capital school districts. Representatives from the pilot districts said students were given computer access and credit for the time spent learning how to use Career Cruising software and for formulating their student success plans. Several reported stu- dents discovering career possibilities they had not previously considered. But the computer program will not replace one-on-one human contact. Instead, the state student success initiative requires each student to have an adult who will provide guidance and mentoring throughout the student's high school career. During a presentation by a panel of high school students regarding their experiences, students agreed that close contact with a caring educator is an asset. Each was intro- duced by name and career goal. "None of these students are dreaming low," said Woodruff. Their wish list for a better and more pro- ductive school environment included smaller class size, teachers who are pre- pared for classes, being taught the basics like how to conduct research and prepare a written report, and a desire for teachers who expect great things of them. Cape makes plan Michael Firch, transition guidance coun- selor at the Ninth Grade Campus, attended the student success summit and said he thinks the state's student success plan and career-planning software is fantastic. "We keep heating about communication, communication, communication - and here is where it all comes together," Firch said. Cape can now do what it's been doing with enhanced tools and state funding, he said. Cape has been using COIN 3 and American Education Services' products to create a four-year program for its students entering ninth grade. COIN 3 is a career " awareness software program that links stu- dents to resources that can help them pur- sue a career direction and to schools that can provide the educational background they will require. The Career Cruising soft- ware program is similar but has the added feature of providing everything online, including a five-yearprofile that will cover one year after high school graduation, and parental access, said Firch. The Cape district has eight guidance counselors serving its middle school and high school students. All students entering eighth grade in fall 2007 will be required to work on a student success plan. The career planning resources will also be available for other students, Firch said. The state is paying all costs of bringing the Career Cruising software into every middle school and high school in Delaware. A state-sponsored Career Cruising training session will be held Thursday, June 21. Additional training will be offered in September. More information about Career Cruising is available at Contact Georgia Zeanhart at #l.leon- hart@ Sussex Tech holds graduation; lists academic awards Submitted photos Vie Vyas of Lewes proudly walks up the Sussex Teeh football field dur- ing comceremonies. Dozens of students received senior aca- demic awards during a ceremony May 29. The class of 2007 accumulated $2,031,169 worth of awards and scholarships as fol- lows: Jayme Amoss (Millsboro) - Certified Nursing Assistant Pin Briana Barron (Georgetown) - President's Silver Education Award, Campbell University Scholarshi p Brendan Bed (Lewes) - New England Institute of Technology Book Award Joshua Betts (Milton) - New England Institute of Technologb' Book Award, Michael C. Ferguson Scholarship Tiamia Black (Lewes) - Lebanon Valley College Scholarship, President's Silver Education Award, Delaware State University-Upward Bound Scholarship, Horatio Alger Scholarship, Michael C. Ferguson Scholarship John Bonkowski (Milton) - President's Continued on page 31 Lewes residents Briana Gallo and Kyle Furniss are excited about receiving their ]igh school diplomas during commencement exercises at Sussex Tech.