• A billboard featuring the "Where Ya Headed?" logo is prominently displayed at the intersection of Breckenridge Avenue and Walker Street in downtown Breckenridge. The large billboard was recently installed to promote an academic initiative of BISD at improving student performance, graduation rates and college and career readiness. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge American)

BISD kicks off new academic initiative for district students

So you have probably seen the billboard downtown with the “Where Ya Headed?” logo, and you may be wondering what that is all about.

“Where Ya Headed?” is the name of an academic initiative of Breckenridge Independent School District aimed at improving student performance, graduation rates, and college and career readiness. The basic premise of the campaign is based on the student being able to answer three questions: 1. What do I want to be? 2. What do I have to do to get there? 3. How is what I do at school everyday relevant to that?

First of all, research has shown, and common sense tells us, that we clearly work harder at any activity when we have an end goal in mind. We want every student, kindergarten through 12th grade, to have in mind and declare publicly, their end goal. Clearly, a student will change his or her mind as they progress through school, and that is perfectly normal, but we want the student to always have something in mind, and to have a platform to present it.

In kindergarten, it may be as simple as a poster with their name and a picture they draw of what they want to be when the grow up. From a 12th grader, it may be a webpage designed to show where they are headed, either college, trade school, military or workforce. Each campus and classroom will have different platforms for presenting the students’ choices.

Secondly, it is our job as educators to make sure kids know what things they must learn and accomplish in order to get where they are headed. We want to make sure that kids know what knowledge and skills they need, what degree plan, what course options, and what outside interests will help them along their journey.

The third and most challenging part of the plan for us as educators is to be able to make everything the student does is relevant to the child’s chosen path. Asking kids to repeatedly do tasks that seem to have no bearing on their future is disheartening and leads to apathy. It is our job to make those connections for them and to remind the students, early and often, of their importance to their chosen path.

To help us remember this focus on these questions, signs, banners and posters are starting to go up on campuses and around town. A Facebook page has been set up for people to share ideas, and information and can be found by searching @whereyaheaded2016.

As with anything the school tries to do, the community’s support and assistance is vital. We will be asking you to support the campaign by displaying signs and posters in businesses, and more importantly, engaging in these conversations with our kids. Asking kids where they are headed after they graduate, asking what they are doing to prepare, and asking if you can help, will have more impact than anything we can do for our kids.

At BISD, we are going to also be asking ourselves as a school district, where we are headed. If we are not headed somewhere, we are standing still, while the future is passing us by.

I am encouraging everyone in the community to engage in the conversation, as well. If we as individuals, in our church and community groups, in our businesses, and in our city and county government, ask ourselves the same question, we will move into the future with purpose and progress.

Breckenridge, where ya headed?

Tim Seymore is the superintendent of the Breckenridge Independent School District.

The Breckenridge American

BRECKENRIDGE OFFICE

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