2015 Passport to Success
On Saturday, February 21st, 2015, families representing 18 Chicago Public Schools (CPS) elementary/middle schools came together at Brooks College Prep in Chicago’s south side Pullman neighborhood for this year’s Passport to Success event. Three hundred fifty (350) 6th and 7th graders and parents spent the day learning about high school options, talking with high school students and staff, and setting goals for their search and application process. 103 volunteers provided more than 400 hours of combined support to make everything happen, including two groups of high school students that led small groups of participants through their day, answering questions about life in high school along the way.
Unlike traditional high school fairs where recruiters promote individual high schools, at Passport to Success participants walk away understanding key differences between the major types of high schools and HS programs. The day has 4 major components:
• Breakout Sessions (3 rotations) – each breakout room was dedicated to a major type of high school option and students chose up to 3 to visit. Magnet, Selective Enrollment, International Baccalaureate, Charter, Career & Technical Education, STEM, Military/JROTC schools were all represented by their CPS central office teams.
• Goal Setting Workshops – after lunch, all attendees participated in a goal-setting workshop to review and complete the CPS School Counseling & Post-Secondary Advising’s Individual Learning Plan (high school readiness planning tool). OSCPA was instrumental in helping us recruit volunteer counselors to lead these sessions. 2 of the goal-setting rooms were facilitated in Spanish.
• Town Hall-style Q&A – to conclude the day 8th grader Brandon G. moderated a 10-person, 35-minute high school student panel. Again, all major types of schools/programs were represented. We have Questions were submitted ahead of time and participants had the opportunity to ask questions on the fly.
• Parent Programming – a drop-in style parent support room was hosted by CPS Office of Access & Enrollment and 2 school counselors
ASAS is proud to host this truly unique and meaningful event that fills an important informational gap in the conversation about high school. Thank you to the Chicago Bulls, Beats Electronics, and KIND Bars for their support, as well as Follett Higher Education Group for donating giftcards for our high school volunteers. Thanks to all the amazing volunteers for their contributions, including all the supporting CPS teams, our breakout session facilitators and counselors!
Evaluations – we collected more than 150 student and parent surveys from the day, the results of which are great! 99% of students feel more prepared to start their high school search as a result of participating in the event, and 98% of parents said they will use information from the event to start a conversation with their child about high school.