Planning Ahead

Zac and I just attended an online assembly for his school.  He has these throughout the week.  Usually, they pertain to a particular class, like an English or Physical Science lecture.  This was was for his ILP:  Insight Learning Plan.  This is not the same as an IEP.  It’s like a dream/goals page with a couple of sheets following detailing the courses you’ve taken and what’s required to graduate.  A living transcript, I think.  Zac will be in the 2017 cohort, God willing, so I listened closely to the requirements.

English                    4
Math                      3
Science                   2
Social Studies            3
Phys. Ed/Health         2
Occupational              1
Fine Arts                 1
World Language
          2
Electives                  3

Total                          21

Washington state’s standards, I believe.  As a former nerd, I took more credits than this.  Some didn’t transfer to college, but at least I got all my math out of the way! Plus 2 extra years of a foreign language. Comment dit-on “overachiever”?

The session had several different counselors as presenters. Each talked about the importance of filling out the paperwork and making sure you complete the required courses.  At one point, I asked a question:  Shouldn’t an adult be filling out the forms and checking out transcripts?  One of Zac’s fellow students quickly assured me that  yes, that would happen.  Sleeping in class….

I like the live chat function.  I mean, with 6 different moderators, the 27 kids – and parents – couldn’t get too obnoxious, right?  My job, when online in a class session with Zac, is to embarrass him as much as possible.  He did post a *sigh* after my question and answer.  Mission accomplished!

A counselor went on to talk about 4-year colleges and universities, and their specific requirements.  They looked more like this:

English                     4
Math
                        4
Science
                     3
Social Studies
        3
Phys. Ed/Health 
  2
World Language   2

More core subjects, stat!  Electives, not so much.  But I figured it would move this direction anyway.  We need more education to stay competitive.

“If you want to take Practical Math, or Personal Finance, and you plan to attend a 4-year school, you can,” the counselor pronounced, “but it won’t count toward your core math credits.”  Marvy.  Would you?!  I guess if you plan to major in math.  Geek!

“The juniors and seniors get more electives and less core subjects!  I want to graduate with them!” a sophomore boy posted in chat.  Yeah, word, sir.  Sometimes it pays to be born earlier.

I like these sorts of meetings.  Zac feels like graduation is in a galaxy far, far away.  But I know it looms on the horizon.  Looking ahead and planning for the future is essential in order to start setting goals now, and also appeals to the administrator in me.  Where we will we be in 4 years?  What will Zac choose to study? Where will he go to college?  Not if.  Only when.

* I truly was listening, but I still have no clue what occupational credits are.  And yes, I like my numbers all fanned out like that.

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