Teacher Focus- Chizu Kennedy

Career Planning

As a high school student, you can do a lot of things every day besides studying such as volunteering, clubs, playing in a sport team. Why do you need to work so hard? We all know that we do everything for our future life!

What career do you want to pursue? Banking? Professional sport player? Programmer? No matter what career you pursue, being able to understand other cultures is essential in the current global society. Not only understanding other cultures but being fluent in another language could be a big benefit in your future career.

In the past, when I have applied for work (not only for a teacher position), at almost every job, I was asked “do you speak another language?” in the application form. Why would they ask this? Is it because a person who knows a second or third language would be more beneficial and stand out from other applicants who only know one language?

While you are in high school I would highly encourage you to try a new language to prepare yourself for the future. Then, if you like the language, you can continue to study it at college!

Head Of School Message

Erica Rhone

This month we are focused on sharing information about career planning. However, I want to take time to remind both students and parents that we do offer opportunities for students to start exploring more about “career-readiness” options through various elective course offerings even in middle school.  Depending on the interests that you or your student may choose; some families prefer to stick with traditional elective courses.  For Keystone high school students, we do have Health and Art requirements, however there are other elective opportunities that can be used to explore career related interests. The Working for Success Course might work for students who are seeking out an actual employment opportunity to try out a future career field.  We want to work closely with each and every student to align your course selections with your future goals, while still fulfilling the requirements of a Keystone diploma.  If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Keystone team and ask for some course recommendations. 

The College Board has changed the deadline for student AP® Exam orders!

All Exams must now be ordered by high school test coordinators by November 15th.  Late orders will incur a $40.00 fee in addition to the $94.00 exam cost. 

Find more information here:  https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/about-ap/news-changes/ap-2019

Keystone students who take an AP course and would also like to take an AP Exam must do the following: 

1. Prepare a list of the exams they plan to take by September 1st

2. Contact AP Services for Students by September 1st to get the names and telephone numbers of local AP coordinators: 888-225-5427 (toll free in the United States and Canada 212-632-1780.


3. Inform the coordinator they are trying to locate a school willing to administer AP Exams to outside students.

4. Notify the school of any accommodations they may need.

5. Agree to use the state homeschool code provided by the coordinator on the day of the exam.

Choices 360

What is Choices 360?

Choices360 is an interactive, free software used to help students explore possible career options and assists with college preparation.

Guidance recommends that all students log in, create a portfolio and begin exploring Choices360 to develop their post-high school plans.

How to create a Choices360 account:

Visit www.choices360.com

Click ‘Create an Account’

Enter Keystone’s access code: PA01212

Select the option that best describes you: Middle school student, High school student or Parent

Enter your date of birth

In the school section, click ‘find’. When the next box pops up, type in ‘The Keystone School’

Enter in all information: Account information, Account Name and Password, Additional Information and Import from a Portfolio (if applicable)

Click ‘Create Your Account’

Interest Profiler:

Asks students variety of ‘Would you like to__?’ questions. This helps students discover what interests they have and how they relate to potential career options they may want to explore further. The Interest Profiler also focuses on the 6 types of personalities: realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising and conventional. This allows students to pair their personality to career options as well.

Career Cluster Survey:

This survey will help students identify the top three career clusters of interest, based on their responses to the questions asked.

Basic Skills Survey:

This survey will ask students questions pertaining to skills they already have at this time.

Transferable Skills Checklist:

This Checklist explores skills that students currently have, as well as skills that they plan to develop in the future.

Work Value Sorter:

The Work Value Sorter, allows students to evaluate their work values and put them in order from most desirable or important to least desirable or least important. This will help students discover what values they believe they need in a career or workplace setting.

Ability Profiler:

This profiler allows students to look at their interests to see what abilities they currently have. They can then click on career options to see what careers apply to them the most.

Choices360 also offers:

Information and a template about how to build a resume.

Job interview practice

Cover and Thank you letters

Job hunting assistance

Discussions about money

High School planning with a career interest in mind

Ability to look into college majors

Test preparation

Financial Aid planning

Student’s will create a portfolio, which will compile information about everything they have explored in terms of career options.

The Keystone Guidance Department is here to assist you as you explore options for after high school. Some students will choose to go onto a two or four year college, some will attend a technical school, others will go into the military and some will choose to enter the workforce immediately after high school. Regardless of what path you choose, the Choices360 program will help students understand what career options are available, as well as becoming aware of their skills, interests, values and abilities. Please contact the guidance department at guidance@keystonehighschool.com for additional support.

What is Independent Learning?

Keystone talks a lot about independent learning.  You have heard the words, read the words and maybe even said the words yourself, but do you really know what independent learning is? Here at Keystone, independent learning is characterized by the fact that students are working at home without the physical presence of a teacher.  They independently create a schedule, decide on a daily plan and work through the guided curriculum on their own.  With independence comes a great deal of responsibility.  Independent learners at Keystone need to be able to find the motivation to do their school work on a consistent basis.  This includes waking up in the morning, working on school work throughout the day and sticking to their plan. 

Are all Keystone students ready for this level of independence? The answer to that is no, but that’s where their support network comes into play.  Teachers are available to help with content related questions and learning coaches are available to help with planning a schedule.  While Keystone is happy to provide assistance, the parent role is also vital.  Parents are there to provide support and accountability.  We encourage parents to be aware of what your student should be working on (using the Dynamic Course Schedule) and then check to make sure the work is being submitted (using the Parent Observer Account and Progress Reports).  The level of accountability can help a student that is struggling to be an independent learner develop the skills necessary to be successful with Keystone and beyond in college and in their career. 

Dynamic Course Schedule – If you and your online student are not using the Dynamic Course Schedule, you are encouraged to do so. You’ll find it under the Orientation tab in all online courses.  This schedule allows you to select a start and end date and it will give your student a plan for how to complete their courses in that timeframe.  Make sure to either print out the schedule or save it to your computer once it is created.

My Grades Page – Students have access to their grades at all times. They can see what they have submitted, what is left to be submitted and see the grades they have earned.  The My Grades page is located in all online courses.

Teacher Feedback – This is an important one!  Teachers provide feedback on all written assignments including papers, journals, discussions and essays within exams.  All students need to do is go to the My Grades page and comments are provided.   All they need to do is click on the name of the assignment and they can review the feedback provided by the teacher. 

Writer’s Workshop – This is located in the Resource and Orientation Center and provides a number of resources to help students through the writing process.  It includes everything from basic grammatical skills to the writing process.  If your student is struggling with their writing assignments or just needs a refresher, we encourage them to check this out!

Motivate Students into Action

New things can be great and fun, but they can also be overwhelming. To carrying on the theme of motivation, this month we will focus on students who are not motivated because they are not sure where, how, or when to start their online courses. Anytime someone starts something new, getting started can be the biggest hurdle. The good news is Keystone provides resources for students and parents to overcome this hurdle, the biggest being the ROC-K (Resource and Orientation center for Keystone). This is a great resource for parent and student to go through together.

            The ROC-K consist of four sections, sections one two being the most vital, containing important information for Keystone students to get started. Section One gives information on technical programs student’s may need, an overview of Keystone’s policies (also found in the student handbook), and scheduling. Scheduling is perhaps the most important step to getting started. This is your roadmap to success and it is important to take time and fine tune the schedule.

            In Section Two there are key resources to help students with navigation and assignment submissions in the way of “how to” videos. In addition, resources are

provided to help understand the gradebook and course completion. There is even a practice assignment in this section for submitting an audio recording.

            The last two sections contain information that will help students locate who to help for different situations and offer the opportunity to socialize. Stay tuned for next month’s motivation article.