Greenwich Public Schools
Overview of Post-High School Planning
Grades 6 though 12
Approximately 85% of Greenwich High School graduates attend college immediately after high school, beginning at either a 2-year college (with the goal of earning an associates degree) or at a 4-year college (with the goal of earning a bachelors degree). Also immediately after graduating from GHS, approximately 15% of our students attend a post-graduate year at a private high school, or enroll in a workforce-training program that will lead to career certification or licensure, or enlist in a branch of military service, or begin full-time employment, or take a “gap year” doing something of personal interest.
By developing individual Student Success Plans, and by working with their teachers and school counselors, students in the Greenwich Public Schools actively plan to reach their own, personalized “post-high school” goals. Student Success Planning aligns with the GPS Vision of the Graduate, by providing opportunities for students to both learn and demonstrate the capacities outlined.
Beginning in 6th grade, students are taught to set academic and personal goals, which includes determining how they plan to reach their goals and who will help them get there. Beginning in 7th grade, students also set career goals. In 7th grade and throughout high school, students learn about their career interests through activities led by their school counselors. Also beginning in 6th grade, students are taught to “build a resume”, which encourages community service and participation in school clubs, activities, and athletics.
Most colleges and universities want to see students prepare for college programs by taking four years each of the five “core subjects”: English, Social Studies, Science, Math and World Language. With this in mind, in January, February and March of 8th grade, the school counselors collaborate with the 8th grade teachers, the Program leaders at Greenwich High School, and with their students and parents to select 9th grade courses that will keep the doors open to many opportunities after high school, including college.
Course selection and registration is an individualized process throughout high school, and takes place in the months of January, February and March. The school counselors are experienced in using their knowledge about their students’ strengths interests, and goals, and about the placement criteria/pre-requisites outlined in the G.H.S. Course of Study Guide to develop an individualized schedule of courses for each year of high school. Our goal is to help students meet with success in courses that are both academically challenging and personally manageable.
In 9th Grade, school counseling and capstone activities focus on the theme of “Connectedness”, helping freshmen make a positive transition to GHS and become connected to their classes, their peers, the faculty and staff, and their school.
In 10th Grade, school counseling and capstone activities focus on the theme of “Inquiry”. The focus of the capstone program is the Sophomore Research Paper, conducted in their American History course. The Guidance Department activities focus on post-high school planning using career and personality profiles, as well as standardized testing results (PSAT). Students continue to build a resume of activities that enhance their strengths and skills and their connection to the school and larger community.
In 11th Grade, school counseling and capstone activities focus on the theme of “Advocacy”. All students complete a Community Services project through their Civics class. In addition, a persuasive presentation project, as part of Junior English is in development. Students continue exploring their career interests and the connections to college majors and work-force training. When PSAT results are distributed to students, their school counselor helps them determine appropriate college admissions testing preparation and plans based on their needs. The school counselors lead “College Kick Off Meetings” for juniors and their parents each January, and conduct an individual post-high school planning meeting for each junior and his/her parents in the spring.
In 12th Grade, school counseling and capstone activities focus on the theme of “Application” in that students must apply their existing knowledge and skills to activities that lead directly to post-high school plans. For example, seniors are assisted with the college application process, the interview process, and resume writing. They end their senior year by participating in a four/five week capstone experience: Senior Internship, Senior Project or Senior Experience.