New Hope-Solebury will launch three pivotal initiatives in the 2023-2024 school year, all of which have been in the development phases for the past year.
These include the launch of its Career Pathways and block-and-learn schedule at the high school and a new elementary literacy curriculum.
“This is an especially exciting year for our district. Our Comprehensive Plan, first developed in 2019, outlined ambitious goals to make our schools more future-focused and more inclusive. These programs represent just some of the many ways we are seeing the work of our strategic planning come to fruition with immense benefits for our students,” said Superintendent Dr. Charles Lentz.
The Career Pathways program enables students to tailor their educational experience to their strengths and their ambitions. The program begins in ninth grade with a required College and Career Planning course. Students explore a video library with career overviews from local professionals, attend the district’s Career Fair, develop a resume and cover letter, and conduct an in-depth research project about a career of their choosing.
Starting in their sophomore year, the students select one of three pathways to pursue: Business and Communications, Arts and Humanities, or Health Sciences, STEAM and Innovation. Sophomores and juniors will participate in a series of guest presentations, panel discussions, informational interviews, field trips, and job shadowing experiences related to their selected pathway.
Finally, in their senior year, students participate in New Hope-Solebury’s signature capstone project, Active Personal Educational eXperience (APEX), a three-week internship opportunity that culminates their educational journey.
The high school also debuts a brand-new block-and-learn schedule this year.
The block format uses extended class periods to facilitate deeper learning experiences and to provide greater opportunity for collaboration in the classroom. In the middle of the day, the school has also introduced a schoolwide “lunch-and-learn” segment of the day. Students may use this time at their discretion to visit teacher office hours, to host club meetings, to take a mental health break–anything they feel they need to support them or their learning that day.
“This has required a huge shift for our team, but we created this schedule following extensive research into other programs through the School Superintendents Association (AASA)’s Learning 2025 project, and we know the possibilities it affords. We have also provided our faculty with ongoing professional development to equip them for the block format,” said Principal Patrick Sasse.
To support the flexible nature of the block-and-learn, new flexible learning spaces and eating areas have been introduced throughout the building.
At the elementary level, the school is implementing a brand-new literacy program called American Reading Company (ARC) Core. This K-5 curriculum was researched and extensively vetted by the elementary faculty. It was ultimately selected for its student-motivated literary experiences and because it showed heightened levels of student engagement during a pilot program conducted last year.
The elementary faculty participated in professional development with ARC Core this summer and is ready to implement this new program under the guidance of New Hope-Solebury teacher Kathleen Given, the district’s Literacy Implementation coach this year. The schools also plan to host several informational sessions to help parents/guardians support their child’s literacy development.
If you are interested in supporting New Hope-Solebury High School’s Career Pathways program as a volunteer, contact Sarah Reeder, College and Career Readiness Counselor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.