Countywide celebration encourages students to explore college options
■ By SJUSD / Contributed
San Jacinto Unified School District (SJUSD) held its annual College Kickoff on Wednesday, Oct. 10, as part of the Riverside County College Kickoff Day events. College Kickoff is an opportunity to promote the college application season and help students throughout Riverside County recognize the importance of planning for their college and career endeavors. SJUSD is committed to ensuring that all of its students graduate college and are career ready. All 14 schools participated in activities promoting college and careers, which enabled all students to start thinking about post-secondary plans.
The Riverside County Office of Education challenged each school district to implement activities for students, parents and community partners to explore and emphasize the importance of planning for post-secondary education, including two and four year college, trade school and/or the military.
At the high school level, seniors focused on completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the California Dream Act, as well as completing a college application. Seniors who planned on joining the military had sessions with recruiters to prepare for the next steps. Students in grades nine through 11 took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) and participated in other college and career activities.
“Last year, San Jacinto High School’s graduation rate was 94.5 percent.”
Last year, San Jacinto High School’s graduation rate was 94.5 percent. San Jacinto High School counselors were awarded a first place banner for having the highest FAFSA completion rate for a medium size high school in Riverside County with 86 percent of seniors completing the application and are top ten in the state for FAFSA completion rates. SJUSD 2018 graduates earned over $3.5 million in California grants alone.
Dr. Vanessa Gomez-Lee, SJUSD Coordinator said, “SJUSD…[had] college and career activities at all elementary schools for the kickoff event, because planting the seed in all our students to start thinking about future possibilities can be a predictor of student success after high school.”
Students and staff adorned their favorite college shirts and attended lunchtime pep rallies to hear about various colleges and careers, and participated in office/classroom door decoration contests, just to name a few of the activities that went on at the Oct. 10 event.
“We are up for the challenge from Riverside County to promote college and career readiness in a big way,” said Diane Perez, SJUSD Superintendent. “This is our vision for all our students, and implementing College Kickoff Day on every campus, from our preschools to high schools, signifies our commitment to preparing all students to be successful as they choose their own unique future.”