April 2022 Accelerate Magazine

WAUKESHA COUNTY BUSINESS ALLIANCE, INC. | WAUKESHA.ORG Coupled with concern for emerging needs from the pandemic's impact and the desire to expand programming while leveraging the expertise of the Swallow community in career planning, a redesigned guidance program for 4K-8th grade was implemented this year. In May 2021, the Swallow School Board approved program changes with a unique focus and delivery model designed to go beyond traditional guidance programming to help students develop their personal readiness for future pursuits while trying their hand in areas via service learning projects. Alongside elementary grade level teachers, a counselor plans relevant social and emotional units of study and exploration of academic and career planning rooted in crosscurricular lessons tied to units already taught within each grade level. This also includes an annual service learning project at each grade level. Middle school students now have a trimester of guidance class each year and on each early release day take a deep-dive into one of the 16 career clusters, which then culminates in a service learning project for the school community. During its inaugural year, students are focusing on the first half of the career clusters, with the second half being studied next year. So far this year, students have learned about food, agriculture, and natural resources; arts, marketing, and AV/technology; business management and administration; architecture and construction; and education and training. Resulting service learning projects include the creation of a digital Veterans Day tribute, creating and donating more than 400 items to the Ronald McDonald House for Giving Tuesday, how-to videos for younger Swallow students, and beginning plans to improve landscaping on the school grounds. “Our parents and the entire Swallow community have responded enthusiastically to help us launch the career component of the guidance program with everyone from doctors to firefighters and heads of non-profit organizations stepping in to share about their unique career pathway and the nuances of their job. Our staff gave our Guidance Counselor a standing ovation last year when this idea was STUDENTS LEARN ABOUT FUTURE CAREERS WHILE HELPING COMMUNITY MELISSA THOMPSON Superintendent, School District of Swallow Students redesign school layout with PRA’s Architect & Partner Nick Kent. (December 2021) 6