Delta Woods Middle School, (Lee’s Summit, MO). Delta Woods Middle School’s mission is to ensure that students leave 8th grade with the knowledge, skills, and habits needed to succeed in college-preparatory high school courses, post-secondary education, and pathways to careers. Students, under the guidance of the school counselors, use Missouri Connections, a comprehensive, online, career development and planning program. School counselors guide students as they prepare for high school and beyond with an Individual Career and Academic Plan (ICAP). Each student’s planning process begins with taking and analyzing the results of an interest inventory, followed by short and long-term goal setting. Based on their ICAP, students consider career options aligned to their interests and research options that will enable them to pursue their career goals. In an Academic Skills course that all students take in 7th and 8th grades, students learn real-world life skills in the areas of personal finance, interpersonal communications, and interviewing.
Students are further prepared for college and career choices through opportunities to develop real-world skills in Project Lead The Way classes and other technology offerings. Students engage in problem-solving, and process thinking, develop technical knowledge and skills, and hone their communication skills. The instructional design focuses on hands-on, real-world activities, projects, and challenges workers encounter every day. This instructional approach empowers students to become independent and collaborative learners who can solve open-ended design problems. Students work together to identify problems, apply their knowledge and skills, persevere through challenges, and find viable solutions. Students have worked alongside professionals from local energy solutions and engineering companies. These collaborations provide students opportunities to identify and analyze problems, brainstorm, and implement solutions through a career lens.