At Chino Valley High School administrative buy-in for ECAP did not begin as an intentional focus of administration. However, once I realized the talent of our lead counselor, Ivette D’Angelo, it was clear that Ivette was a rare gift to this high school and administrative support for ECAP and the intentional systematic approach to college and career counseling ECAP promotes must become intentional and institutionalized.
My role as principal is to keep everyone’s focus on our most important missions: creating a safe and emotionally secure learning environment and ensuring that we always make every effort to keep our students focused on graduation. This may seem rhetorically obvious, but it is easy sometimes for the core mission of “high school graduation” to get overlooked with so much distraction in the world of a high school.
Five years ago we consolidated our guidance counselors, our CTE counselors, and support staff in one central location on the school campus. The counseling center is now the heart and hub of activity at Chino Valley High School. This was an unintended, but very symbolic statement of the importance of effective planning for successful graduation.
We are working with our middle school, with the guidance and assistance of Dr. V. Scott Solberg of Boston University, to increase our capacity for early planning lower down the grade bands. My goal as principal is to do all I can to support our counselors in building greater college and career cognitive capacity at an earlier age.
The other great responsibility I have is to institutionalize our systematic use of ECAP services so that ECAP and effective Individualized Learning Planning will continue no matter who the principal at CVHS is.
Wes Brownfield, School Principal
Logistically, we try to do most of our ECAP in the fall starting with seniors, freshmen, juniors and sophomores. We meet with all the seniors individually in the last two weeks of August to go over their credits, FAFSA, scholarships, university applications and recommendation letters. Starting in mid-September we meet with all the Freshmen in their English class to go over the ECAP list and discuss courses for different career paths. Then we take them to the computer lab on a different day and they use the AzCIS program to complete their 9th grade checklist. In October we meet with the 11th graders individually to go over credits, SAT/ACT, ASVAB, dual credit courses,and university options and making sure that their courses match their career goals. Then we pick one day to go to the computer lab and use the AzCIS program to complete the 11th grade checklist. For sophomores we do the exact same thing as the freshmen except we do it in December. We go into a class and go over the ECAP list and make any changes to future courses and discuss JTED in detail. On a different day we go to the computer lab and use the AzCIS program to complete the 10th grade checklist. In the spring our Gov/Econ teacher takes the seniors to the computer lab to complete AzCIS checklist. We also meet with the freshmen, sophomores,and juniors in February for registration in the English classes.
In February, we meet with all the 8th graders from our feeder school. The 8th graders come to our school to tour all the classrooms and go over credits, career paths, and life at the high school.
Sometimes it’s difficult to find a day for counselors to come into the classroom. If a teacher knows in advance that they will not be at school, then we can coordinate to schedule ECAP guidance lessons when there’s a substitute teacher in the room. This has worked very well for us.
Ivette D'Angelo, School Counselor
Ivette D’Angelo, School Counselor & Honors Academy