Chaparral High School Urges Students to Get Focused

Chaparral High School, Temecula, California - Bronze Meda

Since beginning the program in 2014, Valerie Backus, lead teacher of Get Focused at Chaparral High School in Temecula, California, says the Career Choices curriculum has been especially helpful for many students, especially those in credit recovery programs, as it gives them a stronger sense of “belonging” in school.

Ms. Backus states, “Our students are better prepared to meet the challenges of the future.”

Quick to point out that the process has been a total team effort, Ms. Backus emphasized the contribution of fellow teachers Robb Floco, Don Jones, and Mary Venittelli. “We found that our students actually hunger for guidance and we are so excited to have found a curriculum that feeds that hunger,” added Ms. Backus.

Introduced to the Career Choices curriculum and Get Focused...Stay Focused! ® program model at a district career and technical education meeting in January 2013, Ms. Backus then attended the annual Focus on Freshmen Conference that July.  “I was able to talk with many different schools at that conference...all in different stages of implementation.  It was amazing!” she added.

“To see students...become so motivated, it makes it all worthwhile,” said Ms. Backus.  “We know that it will reduce our dropout rate and increase our students’ college and career readiness skills,” she concluded.