Learn how Steilacoom High School in Washington used Xello to get its students’ future ready during COVID-19, while fulfilling their High School & Beyond (HSBP) plan requirements.
Steilacoom High School is part of the oldest school district in the state of Washington, the Steilacoom Historical School District.
With around 1,100 kids enrolled in the high school, Assistant Principal and CTE Director, Katherine Redman, is dedicated to ensuring that her high school students are making the best of their four years and are equipped with the necessary future ready skills they need to succeed in the world beyond high school.
“I focus a lot on ensuring that kids are learning social emotional skills to succeed after high school. I also work in conjunction with our middle school and oversee their CTE program,” says Redman.
It’s important for Steilacoom Historical SD to ensure they’re providing their students with a vast array of courses so that they’re able to meet various pathway requirements.
Students need to meet these requirements in order to graduate and complete the demands of the state-mandated High School and Beyond (HSBP) Plan.
“This is especially important since the passing of House Bill 1599. In fact, one of the reasons we used Xello was because of how easy it was to document everything in Xello in order to meet the HSBP plan requirements,” says Redman.
When they initially rolled out Xello at Steilacoom, Redman and her team focused on getting their high school seniors familiar with the platform.
The seniors played around with Xello, exploring the vibrant career profiles within the platform and taking the various assessments, such as the Career Matchmaker survey to learn about future possibilities and build a personalized plan for their future success.
Our students used Xello to report back on their High School and Beyond Plan. That plan includes how you’re going to pay for college, what each student’s plans are after high school, what courses in high school inspired them to pick certain career paths and much more. And Xello helps with all these various aspects.
Redman also finds the course planner feature helpful within Xello, especially when it comes to getting students started with future planning.
The course planner in Xello allows students to develop a four-year plan of high school courses aligned with their career and post-secondary plans and is the vehicle through which students will forecast next year’s classes.
The course planner feature enables Redman’s team to take all the courses offered at Steilacoom High and upload these on Xello. This way, students can start to plan their four years starting in 8th grade and leading all the way into their High School and Beyond Plan.
“The course planner feature really helps with our registration process as well because it seamlessly integrates with Skyward, our student management system, which is very convenient,” says Redman.
How Xello Enables this School to Get Students Future Ready Remotely and Meet HSBP requirements
Steilacoom High School students normally present their High School and Beyond plans around the last week of March.
But when COVID-19 struck, shutting down schools and leading to remote learning, many seniors still hadn’t started working on their High School and Beyond Plan (HSBP) presentations.
“It really helped to have Xello during this time as students could easily log in from home and complete their work to help them with their High School and Beyond Plan and meet all the various components involved with HSBP. With Xello, everything was organized in one place, which was really helpful,” says Redman.
The activities in Xello encouraged students to explore their learning styles, abilities and career and education interests; set goals relative to their future; and compile school and community involvement throughout sixth through 12th grades in an electronic portfolio.
So far, the feedback Redman has received on Xello from some of the parents has been positive, and they appreciate how their kids get the opportunity to explore various college and career options on an interactive platform.
“It’s really nice for kids to explore not just the various career options but also the different college options available on Xello. I love the feature where you can just place yourself on the map and see what it’s like to be on a specific college campus,” says Redman.
According to Redman, this feature has been especially helpful during COVID-19, when students and parents were not able to physically visit college campuses.
It was extremely helpful to be able to virtually tour college campuses within Xello, especially because a lot of our students plan to attend colleges outside the state of Wasington. It’s not only time consuming for parents and students to visit colleges, it’s also not cheap to travel far, so having this feature is fantastic.
Future Readiness Advice for Other Districts Looking to Implement Xello
According to Redman, it’s helpful to set up an Advisory Committee in order to ensure the successful implementation and roll-out of a future readiness platform, such as Xello.
“Having an Advisory Committee was very helpful for us. The committee sat with me on a lot of meetings to learn about the program and understand how each staff member was going to use Xello moving forward. It’s important to have some staff members, such as a college and career coordinator, to become familiar with the program. These folks can also help you determine a roll-out plan moving forward,” she says.
Redman recorded videos, showcasing how to log in to Xello and use various aspects of the program, in order to help students learn it.
“I also highly recommend using a single sign-in process. Our district partners with Clever, and so our kids just log in through Clever. They don’t need a separate log-in to get into Xello, which is really convenient,” she says.
Redman adds that she finds Xello’s customer service to be extremely supportive and helpful, enabling staff to learn the ins and outs of the program swiftly.
“Xello has so many helpful webinars and tutorials, and the team walks you through all aspects of the program in detail. All the sessions are recorded as well, so you can reference them later,” she says.
Redman further adds how educators can learn about different features within Xello through their webinars.
“It’s great to discover different aspects of Xello. For example, their transcript request and letter of recommendation request features are so helpful for students and school administrators. Students can just request their transcript or letter of recommendation and our registrar can electronically send it to wherever it needs to go,” she says.
Redman’s students have given her great feedback regarding the program as well, as many have discovered future career options they never even thought they’d be interested in by using the platform.
Xello has really helped our students find possible career paths after high school. It has not only helped them meet their HSBP plan requirements but has empowered them to discover what they want to do beyond high school and create a plan of action to achieve their goals.
Steilacoom High School is definitely on the path towards creating self-aware and future ready students.
Want to learn more about how Xello can help you create future ready students & enable you to meet state-mandated requirements? Just click on the link below to book a call with our education consultants. 👇