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Column: Opportunities abound at Worthington High School

By Joshua Noble, District 518

WORTHINGTON — At Worthington High School, we provide excellent educational opportunities to approximately 1,000 high school students. Our shared vision encompasses meeting the needs of all learners through establishing a collaborative culture with a focus on learning and results. At Worthington High School, we use a full range of educational services to respond to the individual learning needs of students. We are devoted to meeting the social, emotional and academic needs of every student.

In pursuit of our mission to focus on learning, focus on results and focus on collaboration to ensure student achievement for all, Worthington High School continues to improve and expand its curriculum, course offerings and support. A main goal of Worthington High School is ensure all students are prepared for life after high school. We will work with all students to identify individual career goals, understand career options, determine/enroll in pre-requisite courses for career pathways and complete a personal learning plan. In order to continue to prepare all of our students for post high school options, a number of courses and support services have been added or updated for the 2018-2019 school year. A few of the additions are mentioned below:

Trojan Advisory: This year we will be utilizing Trojan Advisory to help students be successful high school students and prepare them for post-secondary options. The Trojan Advisor’s goal will be to connect with students, guide decisions and advise on short and long-term goals. This school year WHS will have Trojan Advisory every day except Wednesday from 7:55 to 8:20 a.m. During advisory, we will be working through college and career readiness resources posted by grade level in Schoology. These items can provide a foundation, and will guide conversations and tasks to help students better prepare for their future. Trojan Advisors will work to help students be more academically and behaviorally successful throughout their high school career. They will review students’ grades, consult and assist in a timely fashion. Trojan Advisors will also assist with contacting classroom teachers if/when necessary, and be a point of contact for parents/guardians if they have any questions.

Trojan Advisory is an important start to our day at WHS and we will take attendance each day. Students are expected to be on time, and will not be allowed to leave advisory for any reason without a pass. Trojan Advisors will ensure time is used for college/career readiness development, re-teaching, quiz/test make-up, peer tutoring or simply additional time to complete tasks.

College Prep: This course is open to all students interested in attending a two year or four year college or university. This course will be taught by Minnesota West instructors on the Worthington High School campus. In this course, students will explore the skills needed to be successful in postsecondary education. Topics will include college-level study skills, strategies for a successful college experience (including time management, study techniques, note taking and writing skills, test-taking techniques, etc.). Financial aid, college application registration and career exploration will also be a part of this course. Additionally, students will study the basic elements of digital literacy so they become proficient in the use of digital technologies and gain information literacy skills necessary for success in both post-secondary settings and the 21st century workforce. Upon completion of this course, students will have earned three Minnesota West college credits. This course will meet on Monday/Wednesday/Friday during fourth block at the high school. Students are expected to complete assignments and coursework on Tuesday/Thursday, but will not be required to report to a classroom. Students considering this course will need to be organized, self-motivated and responsible due to the flexible schedule.

Peer Tutoring: WHS has an increased focus on finding ways to prepare all students for life after high school, while also using every resource available to help every student be successful. With this in mind, we have revamped our traditional Student Volunteer Service program into a Peer Tutoring model. Students can elect to volunteer within a classroom with high academic needs. This student is then responsible for assisting other students who may be struggling academically under the supervision of a teacher. Students who enjoy helping others, utilizing skills and talents, and also want to make a difference are encouraged to apply. To enroll in this course, a student must fill out the Peer to Peer Tutor form. Students must include a teacher recommendation and a letter stating learning objectives. These items are due two weeks prior to registration each quarter. Students must also have a 95 percent attendance record, no unexcused absences and a record of timely arrival to class.

Intro to Education Pathway: Worthington High School has worked with Minnesota West and Southwest Minnesota State University to create quality opportunities for students interested in pursuing a career in the field of education. Our “grow our own” model is an exciting opportunity as we hope to make a significant impact on the teacher shortage within the region. We have introduced a Future Teachers of America club allowing ninth- through-12th grade students a chance to come together once a month to learn about the profession, help other students and find ways to stay energized about making a difference.

WHS juniors and seniors will also have an opportunity to take our concurrent enrollment Intro to Education course. In this course, students will examine their potential for the teaching profession. Students will explore career opportunities, requirements, regulations and professional ethics. The historical and social foundations of education, as well as schools in a diverse society, will be covered. Students will also learn more about challenges and rewards faced by education professionals, as well as what types of careers are available in education, in addition to teaching. Upon completion of this course, students will have earned three Minnesota West college credits. The course will meet on Tuesday and Thursday at the high school. Students will have field experiences and are expected to complete coursework and assignments on Monday/Wednesday/Friday each week, but will not be required to report to a classroom. Due to the flexibility of this course, students should be self-motivated and on track for graduation.

Body Structures and Functions: Worthington High School has long tradition of Medical Career Pathways. This new introductory course builds a foundation for careers such as medical assisting, phlebotomy, health information technology, medical secretary and surgical technologist. Students will earn three college credits through Minnesota West Community College with successful completion of this course. The course introduces the study of human anatomy and physiology. A study of body organization, chemistry, cells and tissues leads to exploring the normal structure and function of each body system. Emphasis is also placed on terminology and abbreviations.

If you have any questions about any of our new courses or any other opportunities at Worthington High School, please contact us. We are devoted to providing excellent educational opportunities for all students. We are excited to continue working with students, parents and community to prepare our next generation.

Joshua Noble is the principal of Worthington High School.

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