Redefining Ready is a SchooLinks hosted podcast community exploring innovative topics, ideas, strategies, and philosophies in the evolving world of college and career readiness. Our featured guests are leaders in their fields who constantly seek to learn from others, collaborate, and apply their own experiences to truly distill best practices in the world of college and career readiness.
Houston Kraft - Kindness, Character, and Connection
Listen in as Houston Kraft, co-founder of CharacterStrong and author of the upcoming book Deep Kindness joins the program to talk about strategies for being deliberate and intentional with social emotional learning in 2020 and beyond. We discuss the need for intentional SEL - particularly in 2020 considering all that’s going on in the world and the social challenges presented by remote / hybrid learning and the challenges of truly connecting with students these days. Houston believes that social emotional learning concepts should be taught in concert with lessons on character, and that kindness can be taught and practiced to make a more pleasant world for all. Tune in for more strategies to implement with your students as well as information about CharacterStrong and Houston’s upcoming book Deep Kindness.
Diane Campbell: Creating a Culture of Curiosity
Listen in as Diane Campbell, Director of College and Career Readiness at Liberty Common High School in Ft. Collins, Colorado joins the program to talk about her journey in the school counseling world and the innovative ways she engages her students in exploration and future planning. Key to Diane’s success in motivating her students comes from the enthusiastic culture of curiosity she has built at Liberty Common. Students are kept on their toes, excited to engage with a wide variety of guests brought into school to discuss majors, careers, colleges, and alternative postsecondary options (including tattoo artistry and video game design!). Diane believes it’s important to strike a balance between encouraging students to determine a focused pathway while also remaining open to additional discovery and investigation - especially considering the shifts currently occurring in the labor market and postsecondary education landscapes. While Liberty Common will be starting in-person this fall, we discuss the importance of being prepared to adjust and pivot at a moment’s notice as well as the unique challenges students are presently encountering. Tune in for more!
Kat Pastor: Now More than Ever
Kat Pastor of Flagstaff USD in Arizona joins the program to talk about the unique challenges facing her district (in general and during the COVID era), how the district managed the crisis this past spring, and what the district is prioritizing for this coming year. Flagstaff USD has a significant Indigenous American population (specifically from the Hopi and Navajo nations), and Kat discusses how school shut downs presented disproportionate challenges for these students both academically and in terms of access to important resources that the school system provides. We discuss how high school counseling has changed in the past decade plus, promoting equity in college and career readiness, and the importance of using the right data to guide your counseling. Kat’s commitment to her students is both admirable and inspirational. Tune in to listen to the whole interview!
Robin Murphy and Mindy Willard: Innovate Fearlessly
Listen in as Mindy Willard and Robin Murphy from Madison Metropolitan School District join the program to share the innovative ways they’re engaging their students and customizing graduation pathways to set students up for postsecondary success. Madison takes a holistic and community approach to exposing students to different career options. Work-based learning is a major emphasis in Madison, and the district partners with community and industry leaders to provide opportunities for students to connect their learning to real-world careers. Additionally, Madison’s academic pathways allow students to specialize their studies around particular areas of focus that they are engaged and passionate about. Robin and Mindy also discuss how the district emphasizes portfolio creation and presentation, where students compile their learning into presentations that are then delivered to school and community leaders. Exciting stuff is certainly happening at Madison Metropolitan … listen in for more!
Susan Hill: Owning the Responsibility
Listen in as Susan Hill, Director of College and Career Readiness at the School District of University City (Missouri) joins the program to discuss the “to and through” culture that University City has built around college and career readiness. At every level, University City consciously designs their curriculum and counseling framework through the lens of postsecondary preparation. Susan believes it is the job of all educators to “own the responsibility” when it comes to exposing students to postsecondary pathways and helping students align their interests to a pathway of best fit. A racially and socioeconomically diverse district, University City’s commitment to their students does not end with graduation, and Susan and her team meticulously track student success six years out from high school - continually offering support and using the data to fine tune the district’s approach. At University City, they own the responsibility at every level, try and remove barriers that may stand between their students and ultimate life success, and then let students’ natural grit and resilience come to the fore and carry them through.
Bernardo Garrido - Instilling a "College Going" Mindset
Listen in as Bernardo Garrido, Director of College, Career, and Military Readiness (CCMR) at Jubilee Academies discusses how Jubilee has been able to instill a “college going culture” in its students that has led to a tremendous postsecondary track record of success for Jubilee graduates. A “college going culture” and district-wide focus on postsecondary success doesn’t just happen on its own, and Jubilee has worked deliberately to create this mindset among its students and various levels of support staff. A K - 12 charter district, Jubilee is very intentional about exposing students to career clusters and professional opportunities at various age levels so that by the time students enter high school, forming a Personal Graduation Plan is relatively straightforward because students have already done a significant amount of thinking and planning regarding the graduation pathway they want to pursue. Bernardo and Rob talk about how Jubilee’s partnership with SchooLinks helps counselors individualize their guidance for students, and how critically important it is for counselors and educators to lead with enthusiasm and provide positive mentorship for students.
they have the best guests and are very informative!
How do they get such great guests on the show?!
Hearing folks like Mike Feinberg - real national education leaders talk about college access and preparation is awesome.
Great substantive discussion for anyone who cares about educating students, education equity, and the future of higher ed+ career readiness. Useful as professional development material for counselors, principles, teachers - event parents.
Great resource for educators!
Loved getting perspectives from different educators. The content is great!