Ensuring students are truly engaged with postsecondary planning is vital if your district is serious about creating future-ready students. Learn why Osceola County chose a future readiness platform that prioritizes the student experience.
The School District of Osceola County is intent on ensuring their students find appropriate pathways that set them up for success upon high school completion.
In fact, one of the district’s goals includes ensuring 100% of their students graduate with a confirmed postsecondary plan, enabling them to be ready for the next phase of their life.
The goal of the superintendent is that 100% of the district’s students will graduate with a confirmed postsecondary plan.
We spoke to Anthony Cook, Coordinator of College and Career Counseling at the School District of Osceola County, who has been instrumental in choosing the right college and career readiness platform for his district.
He spoke to us about why they chose to implement Xello in his district over other platforms.
The Student Experience
Ensuring students are truly engaged with postsecondary planning is vital if your district is serious about creating future-ready students.
“When our focus group was evaluating programs, what really jumped out about Xello was the student component. The platform is very student-driven, modern and intuitive. Ease of access and usage was also a really big thing that stood out for us,” said Cook.
He also spoke about Xello’s custom lessons and how they empower students to really dive deep into self-exploration and planning, encouraging them to record and reflect on their skills and interests.
With the custom lessons, students are not just checking off boxes but are truly immersed in self-exploration, answering questions and diving deeper to reflect on their own interests.
He also mentioned how this immersive experience will encourage students to explore the platform virtually, during a time when many students are choosing to learn from home.
He further emphasized how the Xello platform operates as a one-stop shop for meeting his students’ college needs.
When students approach him with questions such as, “Where can I go for scholarships?” or “How can I register for SAT & ACT?” or “How can I search for colleges?,” he can easily direct them to Xello.
“That’s important because there are so many options out there for students, and we want to be able to direct them as much as possible to one place,” said Cook.
Social Emotional Learning
The importance of equipping students with necessary social-emotional learning (SEL) skills, needed to thrive in future school years, cannot be overstated.
Cook and his team of counselors, know the importance of SEL and are excited about the SEL components within Xello.
“As counselors, we love that there are both SEL and college and career components in Xello because we know that social and emotional learning is so important to the overall health of a student,” said Cook.
Having the two elements together in one platform allows the district to bridge the gap between school counselors and college and career counselors, meeting the needs of both.
For us, whether it is high-school, middle-school, or elementary, if the counselors have anything that’s SEL related, they’re head over heels about it. So having that SEL component within a platform like Xello was really important to us.
Like nearly every school district in North America, the School District of Osceola County was forced to go virtual last March due to the pandemic.
“Making the shift during the middle of the year was … challenging,” said Cook.
“Not being face to face with students to be able to talk to them and prepare them to make the shift was certainly difficult,” he added.
Some departments saw more success than others.
For the start of this school year, Cook’s district gave the community the opportunity to tell them which model would be the best fit for them.
“According to the data we gathered, 45% of folks preferred face to face instruction while 46% wanted to continue with virtual learning,” he said.
Because of the mixed results, Cook’s district has opted to provide all options to their students.
“We’re taking it week by week to see if we’re going to be able to sustain this, or if we’re going to move back to a face-to-face setting,” he said.
As far as preparing students for postsecondary education virtually is concerned, Cook is optimistic about his students’ enthusiasm for a platform like Xello.
Even though we’re in a virtual setting, I keep telling my team I’m actually less concerned about the kids at home, because the Xello lessons are so intuitive and it’s already built into the ELA curriculum unit plans.
As the School District of Osceola County enters the new school year that promises to be challenging, they have a new tool to help their students become ready for multiple pathways.
With Xello’s engaging lessons and a full suite of elements for grades K-12, the School District of Osceola County has a partner that can support them in their quest to ensure their students are future-ready.
Want to learn more about how Xello can help you create future ready students? Just click on the link below to book a call with our education consultants. 👇