‘Go On’ transforms into a movement

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It started as a logo.

Grew to a banner, a jingle and then a rallying cry.

Now, one year later, it’s a movement.

“You are the leaders of this movement,” said Jamie MacMillan, the executive director of the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation, as she addressed the educators from 27 Idaho schools who signed on to the pilot program for Go On Schools.

P1000970All gathered at Boise State University on Friday for the Go On Summer Institute, a day-long event for Go On Schools, a movement to better prepare Idaho students for a successful future beyond high school – either in college or a career.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for us,” said Jeralyn Mire, a counselor from the Sandpoint School District. “Go On gave us resources and the ability to join a statewide wave to ride.”

The day was focused on:

  • celebrating accomplishments,
  • highlighting best practices,
  • and determining the next steps in Go On Schools.

One of the great accomplishments of the last year for Go On Schools was at Middleton. The district is one of the best in the country at giving students access to post-secondary information and opportunities. The activities of students are tracked on the Career Information System and Middleton activity is daily.

Go On students increased activity on the system by 145 percent over the last year. The software system helps students plan portfolios and career paths and manage college preparedness.

“We are very strategic in our advisory program at helping students plan their future,” said Lisa Stout, a P.E. teacher in Middleton.P1000976

Middleton tech specialist Paige Goodson added: “It wasn’t an add-on. It is totally integrated into our culture.”

Only one in 10 Idaho freshmen end up with a college degree. Many college freshmen from Idaho high schools require remediation course work. The Go On project was invented to help Idaho schools better prepare students for a more successful future.

Sandpoint parent Kari Saccomanno came to Boise from the North Idaho town to learn and to share her extraordinary invention. She created a 100-page book — “Your Personal College Partner” — that guides high school students down a career path. The chapters include administration, financial aid and college 101.

“My daughter graduated last year and from our experience, this kind of a guide was missing,” Saccomanno said.P1000974

Mire, the Sandpoint school counselor, is thrilled about the new resource and said “this is going to help so much.”

The Go On Summer Institute included intense work on data, Idaho Core Standards and leadership. It also included team-building exercises like speed dating, competing in an obstacle course with Boise State University football players and teachers dressing up as superheroes.

Videos of Go On campuses were shown throughout the day that depicted successes at exposing students to college and career life.

One teacher commented that when a child realizes that they can go to college, it’s like watching a flower bloom.

“Go On supports the process,” Stout said. “It gave us the initial catalyst to make it a priority.”

Disclosure: Go On Schools and Idaho Education News are funded by the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation.