Q. What is Navigation 101?
A. Navigation 101 is a guidance and life planning program for students in grades 6 through 12. It is designed to help students BE what they dream. Specifically, Navigation has been designed to help students:
- Develop clear plans for what they would like to do with their lives after high school; and
- Learn what they need to accomplish today-while they are still in school-to reach those dreams. Navigation 101 operates on the premise that every student deserves help and attention, not just those who are high risk or high achieving. With Navigation 101, no student is invisible: every student has the support of a caring adult at school.
Navigation 101 was first developed by the Franklin Pierce School District. Because of its success there, it has now been adopted by hundreds of schools around Washington State, and is supported by funding from the Washington State Legislature.
Navigation 101 consists of five key elements that provide the structure to help students make clear, careful, and creative plans for life beyond high school.
Q. What are the Navigation 101 five key elements?
A. Navigation 101 is composed of five key elements that work together to engage students, teachers, and families alike.
- Key Element 1
PERSONALIZING-CURRICULUM-DRIVEN STUDENT ADVISORIES: Students meet regularly in a small group with an educator-advisor (a teacher or other school staff member). Students typically stay with the same advisor and group until the transition to a new school or graduate. To keep advisories structured and easy to implement, the Washington State Office of the Superintendent for Public Instruction (OSPI) has developed a full curriculum for grades 6-12 that is based on academic and guidance standards.
- Key Element 2
PLANNING-PORTFOLIOS: Students in Navigation save samples of their work and their post-high school plans in electronic or paper portfolios. The portfolios help them reflect on their progress and make plans to improve.
- Key Element 3
DEMONSTRATING-STUDENT-LED CONFERENCES: Each year, students share their achievements, dreams, and plans with their advisors and families at a conference the student leads. The conference is tied to course registration, involving families in their students’ academic plans.
Student-led conferences, along with the rest of the Navigation curriculum, are organized around three areas: Academic Development (What have I accomplished in school this year?); Career Development (What do I want to do in the future?); and Personal & Social Development (Who am I? How do I contribute?).
The student-led conference summarizes students’ accomplishments in the year to date; showcases students’ plans and goals for the coming years; and concludes with students’ plans for their courses for the following year. The conference also provides a tangible way to involve families in their children’s lives at school, by ensuring that they understand what their children are studying in school, how they are doing, and why their work matters.
- Key Element 4
EMPOWERING-STUDENT-DRIVEN SCHEDULING: Students who take advanced, dual credit, or Career & Technical Education (CTE) courses in high school do better after graduation. Navigation encourages students to take the challenging courses they need for their postsecondary plans, and then offers the resources to help them succeed.
- Key Element 5
EVALUATING-DATA ANALYSIS: Navigation schools collect data on a number of different indicators to measure student success. Early results show that Navigation students take more advanced courses, graduate at higher rates, and are more likely to pursue a college degree or industry certification.
Q. How does Navigation 101 help students?
A. Navigation provides the structure to help students make clear, careful, and creative plans for life beyond high school. Navigation helps schools:
- Equalize opportunity so that all students have meaningful choices for life after high school, and all students have equal access to those choices;
- Encourage student engagement by ensuring that every student has at least one adult at school who knows and cares about him or her;
- Enhance student achievement by helping students reflect on their skills, make plans to improve, and take the advanced, dual credit, and CTE courses that are crucial for postsecondary success;
- Involve families by engaging them in students’ decisions and plans; and
- Strengthen community within schools and in the larger neighborhood by offering students meaningful volunteer service and leadership opportunities.
Q. How is Navigation 101 taught?
Answer:Navigation 101 has been designed to be taught in regular “advisory” sessions. Advisory sessions usually meet on Thursday after a SMART Wednesday for 80 minutes. An advisory consists of a teacher and a small group of students. Students stay with the same advisory group until they transition to another school or graduate. Schools typically operate on an assembly schedule on advisory days to allow time for the advisory session. The Foster High School Navigation curriculum provides 30 lesson plans for each grade level from 9 through 12. Foster High School has enhanced the lessons provided by the OPSI Navigation curriculum to meet the need of Foster High School students.
Q. Who participates in Navigation 101?
A.Every student can participate in Navigation 101! Every student deserves the attention of a caring adult at school. Every student needs a plan for life after high school. And every student needs to know what to do right now to be ready to succeed after high school, whether “right now” is 6th grade or 10th grade or senior year.
With the Navigation 101 advisory structure, every student can participate. Hopefully, each student will participate in Navigation 101 from 6th through 12th grade and will be able to remain in a single advisory group (same advisor, same group of students) throughout middle school and then in another through high school.
Each advisory group is led by a teacher, school counselor, or certificated staff member, who can help students see the connections between their work today and their plans for the future, and who can build long-term relationships with students that will help them stay engaged and motivated at school.
Q. Is Navigation 101 based on standards?
A. Yes. Navigation 101 is based on both academic and guidance standards. Each lesson plan is based on Washington State Essential Academic Learning Requirements (EALRs) with Grade Level Expectation level of specificity; and
American School Counselor Association (ASCA) National Model Standards in the areas of personal and social, career, and/or academic development.
Q. What topics does Navigation 101 cover?
A. Each Navigation 101 advisory session is based around a theme. These themes repeat each year to help organize the curriculum and to help students retain and build on what they are learning. Navigation themes include:
Setting Goals. At the beginning of each school year, students are supported to set goals for themselves in three areas: for what they will achieve academically that year; for how they will make progress in exploring careers and their dreams for the future; and for how they will grow personally, as an involved member of their school and community.
Improving Academically. Each year, students have a number of opportunities to review their academic performance, reflect on the factors that have affected their performance (for good or bad), and then make plans to improve.
Building Community. Research shows that students who are engaged in school do better academically and are less likely to drop out. Therefore, Navigation devotes time to helping students exhibit contributing citizenship by joining activities at school, participating in volunteer service at school and in the community, and becoming leaders within their schools. The advisory group gives students a “home base” at school, in which they can feel that people know and care about them.
Planning for Life After High School. Navigation 101 helps students make careful plans for college and career. Students have a number of opportunities through Navigation 101 advisories to assess their interests and skills and learn about careers that might be interesting to them. They then have the chance to learn about the postsecondary education required for those careers, whether that be at a community or technical college, a four-year college or university, or through an apprenticeship, industry certification, or military service. During Navigation 101 advisories, students prepare a comprehensive High School & Beyond Plan, which is required to graduate from high school in Washington State, and which also meets the Career & Technical Education Program of Study requirement.
Exploring Careers. A key part of students’ preparation for college and career is exploring careers that fit with their skills and interests. Navigation 101 offers a number of opportunities to help students learn about different careers and identify the career clusters that seem right for them. The Navigation 101 curriculum is integrated with Career & Technical Education (CTE) courses and programs, so that students can learn about the resources and opportunities available in middle school and high school to help them prepare for the future.
Using Money. One of the biggest reasons young people have to drop out of college is because they run out of money. Navigation 101 helps middle and high school students learn the basics of managing money: developing a budget, using credit wisely, and saving. Navigation 101 also helps students learn about different types of financial aid and then develop a clear financial plan for how they will afford their college and career choices for life after high school.
Planning for Next Year. The decisions students make during middle school and high school are very important for their future success. As a result, Navigation 101 gives students a structure to think strategically about what they should be doing in school each year. Students in middle school create a “High School Plan” about what they hope to achieve during high school. And students who are already in high school create and update a “Four-year course Plan” each year to plan for the courses they should be take – focusing on advanced, dual credit, and CTE opportunities – to be prepared for their dream career.
Q. How does Navigation 101 focus students on the future?
A. As part of their Navigation 101 advisory sessions, students are asked to develop a number of different plans for the future each year. By thinking carefully about different aspects of their goals for the future, students learn how to connect what they are doing now to what they hope to achieve… and then have the incentive to do better in school. Navigation 101 plans include:
Goals for each grade level, prepared at the beginning of the school year for the year ahead.
Plans for contributing citizenship by joining activities at school, exhibiting leadership at school, and participating in volunteer service opportunities.
An “academic inventory,” which is a plan for academic improvement, prepared after reviewing first quarter grades.
Postsecondary and career plans based on students’ goals and dreams.
Financial plans, focused on how to budget, use, and save money.
A course plan to help guide the student in terms of the classes they need to take in high school, and focused around high school graduation requirements and college admission requirements.
A High School & Beyond Plan, which allows students to think carefully about what they will do after graduation. (Note that this plan is required to graduate from high school in Washington State and that the Navigation 101 High School & Beyond Plan meets state graduation requirements, as well as the CTE Program of Study requirement.)
Q. How does Navigation 101 organize student work?
A. Each Navigation 101 advisory session refers students to their PORTFOLIOS, which are their records of their accomplishments and self-reflection in school. Portfolios can be paper or online collections of student work. They include samples of students’ work, grades, test and assessment results, educational and career plans, community service records, honors or awards they’ve received, and notes from their student-led conferences.
Each Navigation 101 advisory lesson includes time for students to review and update their portfolios. To help students organize their work, each Navigation portfolio has three sections:
Academic Development. This section of the portfolio includes students’ grades and transcript information, test and assessment results, and samples of work from each of their classes. It also includes the plans students develop for their academic performance each year.
Career Development. This section of the portfolio includes research students do on careers that interest them, as well as their resumes and information about any summer or part-time jobs they hold while they’re in school.
Personal and Social Development. This section documents students’ involvement in activities at school and their volunteer service at school and in the community. It includes information on school clubs and sports students are part of, volunteer service they’ve completed either individually or as part of a group, and other extracurricular activities, such as select sports teams, music or drama ensembles, or clubs. It also includes information about the student-led conference each student is asked to organize each year for his or her family and advisor.
Question:How does Navigation 101 focus on academics?
Answer:A significant part of each year in Navigation 101 is focused on academics: keeping portfolios, reviewing grades and exam results, developing plans for academic improvement, and planning to take advanced, dual credit, and CTE courses in middle school, high school, and beyond.
One key difference between Navigation 101 and students’ other classes is that Navigation 101 doesn’t necessarily teach new academic content. Instead, Navigation helps students reflect on their academic performance and then plan for the future. Students are encouraged to improve their academic performance based on their strengths and weaknesses. They’re given information about the coursework required for four-year or community college and then urged to enroll in advanced, dual credit, and CTE courses that are vital to postsecondary success. And they’re frequently asked to make connections between what they’re currently learning and how they will use those skills after high school.
In the Franklin Pierce School District, where Navigation 101 was initiated, students participating in Navigation 101 improved their academic performance and enrolled in more challenging courses thanks to the encouragement and help they received from their advisors.
Q. Does Navigation 101 meet graduation requirements?
A. Yes. Navigation 101 can help your students meet the Washington State graduation requirements for graduation from high school. Students’ work throughout the years (and particularly during high school) will be saved and organized in their portfolios. The end result will help students meet their graduation requirements as follows:
High School & Beyond Plan. Each year, as part of the Navigation curriculum, students complete a worksheet on their accomplishments to date and their plans for life after high school. These worksheets help students prepare a full High School & Beyond Plan during senior year. This plan, which is required for graduation, helps students think carefully about what they want to do after high school and what they are doing right now to prepare. By the time they are seniors, students’ High School & Beyond Plans are clear descriptions of their plans and include a financial plan, as well as an academic and career plan. The Navigation 101 High School and Beyond Plan meets the State of Washington’s high school graduation requirements, as well as the CTE Program of Study requirements.
Credit Requirements. Navigation 101 helps students regularly check their credits and plan the courses they must take¾not just to meet the requirements to graduate from high school, but also to be prepared for the admissions requirements of their postsecondary choice.
Certificate of Academic Achievement. Navigation 101’s annual Academic Inventories will help alert schools to students’ needs, ensure that students who need help with core courses or exam requirements receive help. The Navigation 101 curriculum suggests ways that students’ work in advisory can be integrated with Student Learning Plans.
Culminating Project. The Navigation 101 lesson plans include everything seniors need to organize a culminating project based on their Navigation 101 portfolios and a senior presentation. The Navigation 101 culminating project will meet the State of Washington graduation requirements.
Question:How does Navigation 101 focus on careers?
Answer:The Navigation 101 curriculum is fully integrated with Career & Technical Education (CTE) and includes time each year to help students investigate career options. Each year, the Navigation 101 curriculum features a number of advisory lessons that are focused on exploring careers. These sessions help students learn more about their interests and skills and then help them learn about career opportunities and the education and training they’ll need to pursue these opportunities.
The Navigation 101 lesson plans suggest that each student take an interest or skills assessment once a year. The lesson plans also suggest career interviews and job shadows for older students, to give them firsthand experience in a career area that interests them. Students also learn about the CTE courses and programs available at their school or within their district, including classes, skills centers, Tech Prep, Running Start for the Trades, and other opportunities.
Q. How – and why – does Navigation 101 focus on community?
A. A significant part of each year in Navigation 101 is focused on community-building: getting involved in sports, clubs, and leadership activities at school; engaging in volunteer service in the community; helping younger students; and participating in activities as a member of an advisory group.
Becoming involved in a community, learning to be of service, and learning how to lead are all lifelong skills that will benefit students no matter what their chosen academic or career paths. In addition, research shows that students who are engaged in school activities do better academically and are less likely to drop out. The Navigation 101 curriculum helps students become involved in school activities and exhibit good citizenship at school and in the community.