City Life

Madison schools look ahead

Focus on Personalized Pathways this year and next

The school district is preparing to implement Personalized Pathways, another piece of the strategic framework, in the fall. As part of the effort to raise academic achievement and graduation rates, Personalized Pathways helps engage high school students in areas of study that are of interest to them. Each of the four high schools will have a different focus relating to the theme. The first theme is health services.

“It’s about relevance,” says Cheatham. Student coursework will have themes related to potential careers and readiness for community participation. “Instead of just learning those topics in a really disconnected way, it’s connected learning aligned with themes, and those themes are based on viable career clusters here in Dane County.” She says students will still be required to take the necessary classes for college and careers, but through Personalized Pathways, the schoolwork will better prepare students for post-secondary opportunities and community engagement.

Personalized Pathways will give students the ability to shape their high school learning. “There’s a strand for every student to engage in experiential learning, to have an internship with someone, to job shadow, to really explore the opportunities available to them,” says Cheatham. Within the course requirements, students will have choices that will integrate their work with their interests and goals. “Kids will still have advanced placement classes, and still have art class and music. All that stuff will still exist,” says Cheatham. “But we’re hoping it’ll be a more meaningful experience.”

Find more information at Personalized Pathways


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