The High School Content Area
The High School encourages youth to explore current schooling issues and to plan for postsecondary education. This content area is comprised of two units:
Click here for a complete Map of The High School.
The High School helps youth understand how school affects their lives and their futures. It helps youth explore their current experiences, needs, and goals, as well as their goals for further education after they graduate from high school. Youth can learn about the graduation requirements in their school, consider why they are taking certain classes, and explore what options they have for meeting graduation requirements. Exploring the postsecondary environment through The High School can help youth understand what awaits them and help them more thoroughly plan for life after high school.
Youth with disabilities have additional material to engage with in The High School. This includes material to help them understand tests and accommodations, assessment accommodations, the process of participating in one’s Individualized Education Program (IEP), specific graduation options related to having a disability, and more.
By reading and completing online activities in The High School, youth will achieve the following outcomes:
- Understand the impact their current high school classes and activities may have on future options and directions.
- Learn more about current class options and how to meet graduation standards.
- Learn about testing accommodations and modifications.
- Understand the importance of planning for life after high school.
- Explore and understand options for postsecondary education and training.
- Understand and become active participants in their IEP (for youth with disabilities).
- Develop goals in the above areas in their Life Map.
Activities to Assign
In addition to the reading material available in each unit, there are numerous activities you may choose to assign youth. These include questions to consider for discussion or reflection, online and hands-on activities to complete, and other Web sites to explore.
1. Lead a Discussion
When working with youth in this content area, you may want to facilitate a group discussion about the topics explored in each unit. Below we’ve provided sample discussion questions to help youth explore each unit’s topic in more depth. These questions can also be used as writing assignments for youth to reflect on a topic, either confidentially in their Private Journal, or to be shared with you as their Youthhood Guide in their Class Notebook. (Note: You have the option to view and comment on their work in the Class Notebook. See Viewing & Commenting on Entries for more information.)
- What are your plans for life after high school?
- How will you make those plans happen?
- Do you know what your options you have for graduating from high school?
- Which graduation option will you work toward and why?
- What are the school requirements that you must complete in order to do what you want to do after you complete high school?
Discussion Questions for Learning More Unit
- For you, what is the most difficult part of planning for more education after high school?
- When you think about going on to college or some other type of school after you graduate, what are you most excited about?
- What worries you about graduating from high school?
- What is one thing that you really need help with in planning for more education after high school? Who can help you with this?
2. Assign a "Youthhood Poll"
The Youthhood homepage has a new poll question every few weeks. Youth must be logged in to vote on a poll. See About the Youthhood Poll for more information.
3. Assign "My Youthhood" Activities
Here at The Youthhood we’ve designed numerous online activities to help youth build a strong foundation of knowledge and to apply the material on the Web site to their own life. These include the Private Journal, Activities Folder, Life Map, and Class Notebook and are part of the "My Youthhood" menu youth see when they log in. See Online Activities for more information.
Click here to Preview Online Activities in The High School.
4. Assign Other Web Sites to Explore
There are some terrific Web sites available for youth to learn more about the topics covered in The Youthhood. You may wish to assign youth the task of exploring some of these Web sites.
Click here to Preview Web Sites Linked in The High School.
5. Assign Hands-On Activities
In addition to the existing materials on the site, you might create additional real-world, hands-on activities so that youth can see the concepts in action. The following are examples of hands-on activities you might assign youth in The High School:
- Set up site visits to local colleges and/or universities, technical colleges, and trade schools.
- Help youth set up informational interviews with students currently attending a postsecondary college or training program.
- Assist youth with disabilities to practice asking for accommodations, preparing for, and leading their IEP meeting.
- Help youth set up appointments to visit the disability student services office at select postsecondary institutions.
- Help youth become familiar with IDEA 2004 and what it requires (see IDEA 2004 Resources on the NCSET Web site).
Developing a Lesson Plan
For more information on how you might incorporate the interactive features with the content pages and your own supplemental activities to optimize learning for youth. See Developing a Lesson Plan.
Here are additional online resources for you as the Youthhood Guide to learn more about the topics presented within each unit of The High School. Titles with "(PDF)" are links to PDF documents, and require Adobe Acrobat Reader (free) to download.
Going to School
- NCSET Web Topics on Teaching & Learning (National Center on Secondary Education and Transition) Browse various topics for information on Academic Standards, Accommodations, Adolescent Literacy, Assessment, Dropout and Graduation, Instructional Strategies, Professional Development, Student Learning Strategies, Universal Design for Learning, and Work-based Learning.
- IEP & Transition Planning (National Center on Secondary Education and Transition) This NCSET Web Topic provides information on strategies to support students, families and professionals to participate in developing a student's Individualized Education Program (IEP) and transition plan.
- Resources Related to IDEA 2004 (National Center on Secondary Education and Transition) This NCSET Web page lists resources related to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004, or IDEA 2004.
- Federal Resources for Educational Excellence (U.S. Department of Education) Topics for educators in science, math, history, arts & music, language arts, and more.
- Academic Standards (National Center on Secondary Education and Transition) Explores academic content standards: standards developed by each state that define what students should know in each academic subject area.
- Technology (National Center on Secondary Education and Transition) This NCSET Web Topic explores the importance of providing training and access to technology for youth with disabilities.
- Accommodations (National Center on Secondary Education and Transition) This Web Topic explores accommodations, which are changes made to classroom and testing materials and procedures to help students with disabilities learn and participate in tests on a level playing field with students without disabilities.
- Academic Standards (National Center on Secondary Education and Transition) This NCSET Web Topic explores academic content standards, which are standards developed by each state that define what students should know in each academic subject area.
- Adolescent Literacy (National Center on Secondary Education and Transition) This NCSET Web Topic explores approaches to improving the literacy skills of adolescents so that they can succeed in content-area classes and enjoy reading
- Aligning School & Community Resources (National Center on Secondary Education and Transition) This NCSET Web Topic explores how state agencies and local communities can align and leverage all the resources communities offer to support young people with disabilities and their families.
- Assessment (National Center on Secondary Education and Transition) This NCSET Web Topic explores assessment, which is the process of collecting and analyzing information through tests to show policymakers how well the nation’s educational system is doing.
- Dropout and Graduation (National Center on Secondary Education and Transition) This NCSET Web Topic explores the causes of dropping out among students with disabilities and describes strategies for improving graduation rates.
- Instructional Strategies (National Center on Secondary Education and Transition) This NCSET Web Topic explores strategies educators can use to teach content and skills to students.
- Service Coordination (National Center on Secondary Education and Transition) This NCSET Web Topic outlines how coordination of cross-agency services for youth with disabilities and their families can build professional connections and provide families with a single contact to identify supports. Service coordination reflects a shift from case management to family support and focuses on person- and family-centered planning, inclusion, and self-determination.
- Student Learning Strategies (National Center on Secondary Education and Transition) This NCSET Web Topic explores strategies students can learn to help them become more independent, successful learners.
- Education and Learning (The Forum for Youth Investment) Resources on Education Policy/Reform, High School Reform, Learning Environments, and School-Community Connections.
- Universal Design for Learning (National Center on Secondary Education and Transition) This NCSET Web Topic is about Universal Design for Learning (UDL), a flexible teaching approach that uses a variety of materials and teaching methods to accommodate a wide range of learners in an individualized way.
- National Federation of State High School Associations The national service and administrative organization of high school athletics and fine arts programs in speech, debate and music.
- Postsecondary Education Supports and Accommodations (National Center on Secondary Education and Transition) This NCSET Web Topic explores how the kinds of supports that are currently being offered in postsecondary education, and the manner in which they are offered, are different from supports in secondary education, and may affect outcomes for individuals with disabilities.
- Preparing for Postsecondary Education (National Center on Secondary Education and Transition) This NCSET Web Topic, directed at students, teachers, and parents, provides an overview of self-advocacy, rights, responsibilities, and other issues students with disabilities need to think about when considering a postsecondary education.
- Self-Determination for Postsecondary Students (National Center on Secondary Education and Transition) This NCSET Web Topic explores how self-determination—the combined skills of self-awareness, self-advocacy, self-efficacy, decision-making, independent performance, self-evaluation, and adjustment—can contribute to an individual’s ability to establish and achieve his or her own goals during and after higher education experiences
- Yes, Youth with Disabilities Can Travel to Study Abroad (National Center on Secondary Education and Transition) Transcript on the NCSET Web site of a teleconference call held in September 2005 with presenters from the National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange.
- Transition to Adulthood (Center for Parent Information and Resources) Information for Parents to help their children with the transition to adulthood after high school.