On Thursday, January 14, STEAM Middle School at D.A. Hulcy hosted the EOD team and 13 guests for a site visit to demonstrate the implementation of the Roadmap to Success Program in 3 of their 6th grade advisory classes. STEAM Middle School is new to the Roadmap to Success Program, and also one of the newest middle schools in Dallas ISD. The southern Dallas neighborhood school reopened this school year as Dallas ISD’s newest Choice School campus. The school has approximately 200 students enrolled in 6th grade, and the Roadmap to Success Program is provided to each of these students through 8 teachers during their advisory period. Students participate 3 times each week during 20-minute advisory lessons.
Principal Jonica Lockwood, the visionary leader at STEAM Middle School, began the morning with a brief welcome and introduction. She shared about the value that both she and her teachers were seeing in the program, and about how she came to the decision to extend the implementation of the program into a third day of advisory to allow even more important conversations to take place.
During EOD’s site visit, we were not only able to watch Ms. Rather, Ms. Rocke, and Ms. Williams implement a Roadmap to Success lesson, but we were also treated to both a teacher and student panel that allowed our group to hear more first-hand stories about the implementation of the program and how it is positively affecting the school culture and students. One teacher told us that some of the benefits she was seeing in her classroom included students starting art clubs to add to their resume, as well as doing research outside of the classroom to find the best high school options for them to attend.
After the teacher panel, our group split up to see the lessons implemented in person. Guests had the opportunity to observe two lessons: Evaluating Post-Secondary Options and Introduction to Interviews. In one classroom, students practiced making eye contact and giving good handshakes to prepare for interviews. In the other classrooms, students learned about various post-secondary options for their plans after high school.
Following the hands-on classroom time, our group returned to our original classroom and was treated to a student panel by 6 of the students. Each of the well-spoken students provided some further insight on their experience with the Roadmap to Success Program, including how they talk about the program to their parents, siblings, and friends, as well as how they have already used some of their information that they have learned from the program in their everyday life, such as staying on top of their grades by calculating their GPA. One student told the group that the Roadmap to Success Program wasn’t just a classroom tool, but that it was “a key to life.”
Our entire group left the school that morning with a better insight into the program and the ways that the talented teachers and dedicated students are using it as a tool to prepare for post-secondary success. We are deeply grateful for the partnership that exists between our organization and schools like STEAM Middle School that allow us to take the conversation about post-secondary achievement one step further.
Are you or your student interested in attending a “best fit” school like STEAM Middle School at D.A. Hulcy? The deadline for application submission is January 29, 2016. You can find out more info and complete your application at: www.dallasisd.org/choice.