What is Best for Our Students?

Dos Pueblos Senior High School, Goleta, California - Bronze Medal

Do we ask this question often enough at our schools?  Hopefully, it is asked every single day and carefully considered in every decision we make, whether it relates to academics, extra-curricular activities, discipline, or guiding students’ career and life choices.

At Dos Pueblos Senior High School in Goleta, California, the answer to that question is an exuberant “Yes.”

Heading up this endeavor is Dos Pueblos teacher Brian Slotnick-Lastrico. “Finding teachers that believe in Career Choices is paramount to the success of the program,” Brian said.

With fellow teachers Rob Schiff and Kristi Anderson, the Career Choices series framework has become an integral part of courses across campus—beginning band, media arts, technology classes, and many others. Virtually every elective course has the core components of the curriculum ingrained. They have folded seamlessly into the AVID Program, as well.

The dynamic trio has made the process of career and life exploration fun, interesting, and engaging.

“I give a lot of credit to Santa Barbara City College and their decision to make this a pass-fail class and award college credit to our students,” explained Brian. “When you see the faces of these students when I tell them that they  are now college students and are earning college credit, these 9th graders  light up.”

Another key component to Dos Pueblos’ success has been incorporating a local community group, Partners in Education. “They have been instrumental with providing guest speakers on a variety of topics (car dealers, bankers, etc.) that adds greatly to the teaching of real life skills,” Brian added.

Of course it is always essential to have administration and board support when engaging in such an endeavor. That support and commitment is certainly demonstrated at Dos Pueblos, as the board with the unconditional support of Principal Shawn Carey has mandated that every student develop a 10-year Plan prior to graduation.

“Looking ahead and coming to grip with reality is truly an eye-opener for many of our students. But when they do, the outlook is simply amazing,” concludes Brian.