Janet Elementary Students Building their Future One Step at a Time

21404471103_ae84759441_zThe new school year brought a new focus to C.T. Janet Elementary. Faculty and staff have implemented a number of projects aimed at getting students to plan for their education after they graduate high school.

“We wanted students to understand that what they learn and do here in elementary school sets the stage for how they will succeed in the future,” said Janet Elementary teacher Tabitha Rojas. “The question of ‘What are you going to do when you graduate?’ doesn’t need to be asked when they’re in high school, but instead, it should be asked now at the beginning of the most crucial part of their education.”

Janet principal K22035495551_2f6fa0fbdc_zaren Doyle and former Janet assistant (current Miller Wall Elementary principal) Richelle Christ decided on the new focus. Culture-building activities began on the first day of school. Teachers discussed the idea of going to college with students and even shared their own college experiences. Other events include college themed days, career days with local professionals, and writing projects where students made an early college choice. There are also college decorations throughout the school.

“It has definitely helped our students realize that there are endless possibilities waiting for them,” said Rojas. “They have the ability to make a choice and work towards fulfilling their goal now instead of waiting until they’re older.”21999421946_a5ebdeefe7_z

Rojas’ handiwork is on one of the main implementation pieces. She decorated one of the school’s main stairwells. The slogan “Building your future, one step at a time” is painted on the stairwell walls, while each grade is painted on a step in ascending order. The aesthetic addition has already made an impression on students and parents.
21837453910_db195c6f26_z“When parents came to school for Teacher Meet and Greet, Open House, and for Parent Spend-a-Days, they’ve made comments about how they have enjoyed following behind to watch their little ones walk up those steps,” said Rojas, “and even stopping to pose for pictures to document the current step of their journey.”

Even if many of the college and career choices these elementary students make are bound to change many times before graduating high school, teachers and staff at Janet Elementary see plenty of benefits in getting these young minds to think about their future.
“I think keeping the idea of college in front of students gives them the motivation to believe that college is a path that they can take,” said Janet Elementary teacher Tara Pierce. “Most of all, I think these activities and decorations have helped students to believe in themselves no matter what.”