While Russellville High School students are taught daily with the goal of preparing them for college, technical programs or careers, RHS sophomores in March will join thousands of eighth- and tenth-grade students from across the state in activities focused on making them think more than ever about the importance of readying for their future.
The special effort, dubbed Operation Preparation by the Kentucky Department of Education, is in its second year and will include hard-working professionals in our community speaking to students about their jobs and what kind of preparation was needed for them to acquire them.
“Operation Preparation provides an opportunity for us to bring in community and business leaders to meet with our students to address what students need to be doing in order to prepare them for life after high school,” said Russellville Independent Schools Superintendent Leon Smith. “Students have the opportunity to hear directly from business leaders about what it takes to prepare for a future career that will impact them for the rest of their lives.”
An effort has already begun to recruit volunteers from the community for the project.
RHS Principal Kim McDaniel said, “our vision is to have all of our students college- or career- ready by the time they graduate from high school. One key aspect to this process is providing appropriate advising and guidance for students as early as possible to help place them into the correct career paths. Activities, such as Operation Preparation, allow us to collaborate with parents and other community stakeholders to focus on quality career planning,”
While Operation Preparation is set up for both eighth- and tenth-grade students, schools are encouraged to carry out the program in the way that best suits their needs.
According to the KDE website, eighth and tenth grades are the focus because they “are pivotal years in the college/career planning process.”
“In 8th grade, all Kentucky students take the EXPLORE high school readiness exam, which is designed to help eighth graders explore a broad range of options for their future,” the website explains.
When students are in tenth grade, the PLAN assessment helps them “build a solid foundation for future academic and career success and provides information needed to address school districts’ high-priority issues,” according to the website. “The exam assesses the same subjects as EXPLORE (English, mathematics, reading and science) and is a predictor of success on the ACT, which all students take in spring of their junior year in high school.”