Identifying a Lynden High School students’ strengths and interests is nothing new. But having a diversity of options to help play those out in a classroom represents an area of growth for Lynden High School.
As part of the state’s required High School and Beyond Plan, Lynden continues to develop new pathway options for students, adding fresh courses and intriguing ways for students to explore their options for post-secondary success and identify which classes can help them as they prepare for their future.
“The courses a student takes at Lynden High school is the now,” says Kent Victor, Lynden’s career and technical education director. “Choosing these courses is a result of future thinking.”
The Lynden High School and Beyond Plan helps provide students a roadmap for future plans. The program helps students identity a career or educational goal and then a graduation pathway that aligns with that goal. Through surveys and discussions, the plan helps students explore and reflect on careers and educational opportunities that align with their interests and abilities. This investigation can include the ability to research colleges and training programs related to their career interest or study exercises that help students understand which careers will support their desired lifestyle. Students work through and reflect on all of the exercise for a minimum of five years as part of the High School and Beyond Plan, starting as middle school students.
Victor says they are continually evaluating the process to make it the most meaningful for students and the addition of a pathways concept helps tie the planning together. Also new at Lynden, students have access to a platform to help create a digital portfolio.
As Lynden continues to educate students about potential pathways, Victor says Lynden High School courses fit with a variety of pathway interests. For example, a student considering the trades should have a four-year LHS plan that includes courses in Ag Tech, Woodworking and Trade Skills Fundamentals. A student who plans to pursue a career in the medical field should have a four-year plan that includes Medical Terminology, Sports Injury Care, Sports Performance and Intro to Healthcare Occupations.
Moving forward, Ian Freeman, high school principal, says they hope to get students and families better educated on the process. “We want families to understand the different pathways at Lynden High School and course offerings and activities that go along with that,” he says. “Then they can have conversations at home that reinforce these ideas.”