San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

December 22nd, 2009
Hays CISD plans 'Education – Go Get It Week'

1LehmanTeachers at Lehman High School show their college pride before “Education – Go Get It Week.”

STAFF REPORT

After the holiday break, Hays CISD is poised to start the new year with its state-mandated “Education – Go Get It Week” in a program planned to be both fun and inspiring for students from Jan. 6-15.

While the students all through the district will be engaged in the topic throughout the week, the entire community is welcomed to a special “High School Planning Night” on Jan. 11 from 6:00-8:30 p.m. at the Hays CISD Performing Arts Center, 979 Kohlers Crossing.

The week, legislated in 2007, is designed to “educate middle school, junior high school, and high school students about the importance of higher education.” It also directs that each campus at those levels “shall provide students with comprehensive grade-appropriate information regarding the pursuit of higher education.”

Additionally, the week entails information on higher education options, standard admission requirements, automatic admission of certain students, and financial aid availability and requirements for obtaining it.

The driving force behind this year’s campaign is Charlotte Winkelmann, director of college and career readiness for Hays CISD. She enlisted the help of district campus counselors and found ready assistance from Allison Tillotson of Lehman High School, Kathy Arendt from Hays High School and Kim Hall from Academy High School, college and career counselors, all.

The local campaign, Winkelmann said, is designed to “start the discussions in the community and district-wide of the importance of a post secondary education and dreaming the dreams in order to build a college-going culture in the Hays CISD community.”

Winkelmann emphasized the word “start,” because she and her counselor colleagues believe that the powerful lessons from the campaign need to be ongoing for them to be effective. She specifically outlined ten major objectives that students should learn. These lessons include how to explore interests and know how that relates to school courses, the importance of taking more rigorous courses in middle school and high school to prepare for higher education, and the importance of concentrating on coursework and grades.

More lessons in the ten point plan are to show students that it might be worthwhile to explore the possibility of attending a college out-of-state, regardless of where friends may be going, and to ask for help in getting more information about college and financial aid.

The district’s faculty will be involved in the “Education —Go Get It Week” campaign in many ways. It includes the posting of teachers’ alma maters, the wearing of college shirts, displaying college pennants and engaging with students in discussions on how they overcame their own struggles to attain lifetime dreams.

The “High School Planning Night” on Jan. 11, is directed toward 7th-11th grade students and their parents as they plan for higher education opportunities.

The event will feature offerings on financial aid opportunities, dual credit courses, collaborations with Austin Community College and high school and middle school course work.

The district’s Career and Technology Fair is offered on the same night, with teachers illustrating how their courses are closely tied to post secondary educational options.

For more information on the events taking place during Hays CISD “Education – Go Get It Week,” contact Winkelmann at winkelmannc@hayscisd.net.

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