Algoma District School Board Pathways Team Excited to Help Grade 8 Students Begin Planning for High School

During the week of October 17th, approximately 800 Algoma District School Board Grade 8 students were invited to Building My Future, a full day event designed to help students set goals and start making plans for high school. Each day saw a different group of Grade 8 students take part in hands on activities and access information to help support their transition to Grade 9. The timing of this event, which was hosted at the Delta in Sault Ste. Marie, was ideal as it comes just ahead of Grade 9 course selection which takes place in December.
ADSB invited The Beanstalk Project, a company which is recognized for helping students build their own paths to meaningful careers, to help facilitate this experience. Using interactive tools and games, The Beanstalk Project helps students reconnect to their own talents, goals and dreams, while they build their skills and put themselves on a path that’s meaningful to them.  Students were treated to a presentation from Beanstalk team members Joel Hilchey (interactive speaker and author on themes around leadership and success) and Brandon Love (motivational speaker, coach and author).  
Following this motivational presentation, students moved on to participate in interactive sessions, including topics around pathway planning, course selection and special programming offered in high school.   
The Building My Future event is one part of an overall plan to support Grade 8 students. The ADSB Pathways Team is excited to be working with elementary schools and proud to be implementing a number of initiatives this year, all with the goal of supporting our Grade 8 students as they move into high school and begin to think about and develop their unique pathway. 
Plans are being developed to have all Grade 8 students select secondary courses in December for the 2023/24 school year, using myBlueprint which is an online tool that provides students with information to make informed decisions about their education and career planning.   This web-based platform also allows for digital storage of the Individual Pathway Plan (IPP) goals and action plans making it convenient for students and parents/guardians to regularly access and refine their plan for the future.  
A Student Transition Guide is being developed for distribution to all Grade 8 students. This guide will help students develop an understanding of secondary school graduation requirements, provide general information about secondary school and tips for success (types of courses, de-streaming information, grade 9 option selection guide).   Secondary schools will continue to provide school specific information about their programs and offerings through school visits and open houses.  
Parents and guardians of ADSB Grade 8 students are reminded to keep an eye out for Grade 9 Open Houses.  Information on dates and times for these public events will be shared by schools and through local media outlets.  Algoma District School Board also encourages parents and guardians to speak to their children about the Building My Future event that Grade 8 ADSB students attended on October 17th, 18th or 19th.