There is a new class in Dalton Junior High School this year teaching eighth grade students how to transition to high school. Every eighth-grade student will complete the Transition to High School class as they prepare to make their high school choice.
This year’s class of eighth grade students received their school choice forms earlier this week and are working with their parents to make the decision between Dalton High School and The Dalton Academy. They are more prepared than ever thanks to the material they are learning in their course.
During the class, students complete a YouScience assessment which gives them personalized information about their strengths, work styles and possible career paths. According to the YouScience website, students play brain games that “match what you’re good at (aptitudes) and what you like to do (interests) with in-demand careers where you’ll have a competitive advantage.”
Tiffany Thompson is one of the teachers of the Transition to High School class at Dalton Junior High School. She said the YouScience assessment helps students broaden their horizons beyond the career paths they initially thought were possible.
“YouScience lays out so many career options for them to consider,” Thompson said. “It’s natural that, at this point, they still think they can only become a doctor, teacher, lawyer, that kind of thing. This is an opportunity for them to see so much more than that, and the fact that it is personally matched to them is really cool.”
Thompson said the goal is to help students develop a plan for high school and beyond. Whether they attend college or pursue a career without a college degree, the important part is for students to have an end goal and a plan to achieve it.
“We’re able to show students other opportunities rather than just college,” Thompson said. “We show them a lot of options to let them know, you can be successful and earn a decent living by just having a plan. I think it’s really been helpful for them to recognize that there are options. They have the information and it’s just a matter of them putting it in action.”
Earlier this month, the Transition to High School teachers hosted a career night for eighth grade students to share their YouScience results with their parents. Each student created a presentation and met with their parents to share what they learned and their plans for a future career.
One student who attended the event was Mario Gomez. He said attending the event was a good experience.
“I explained to my parents what career would be a good fit for me,” Gomez said. “In the future, I would probably look for an engineering or architecture job. I really like building and thinking. I never really saw myself as an architect until it showed up on YouScience, and I just thought it was an interesting career. After I looked into it, it looked like a fun and active job.”
Gomez said he is looking forward to pursuing either the engineering pathway at Dalton High School, or a construction pathway at The Dalton Academy. He hopes it will help him to clarify what he wants to do for a career while he’s still in high school.
“It’s basically getting you ahead,” Gomez said. “It gets you thinking and helps you make sure you actually want to pursue that career, instead of wasting time in college.
All eighth-grade students have the opportunity to select their high school and their career pathway this month. While the pathways, activities and school environments differ between The Dalton Academy and Dalton High School, both schools will provide students with a world-class education, a recognized high school diploma and the preparation for college, career and civic life.
To learn more about both high schools, you can visit their websites at tda.daltonpublicschools.com or dhs.daltonpublicschools.com.