The Lafayette Catholic School System took a look at its Mission last year and gave it a refresh. “We knew after we launched our new Mission that we needed to take every aspect of it very seriously,” said Neil Wagner, Principal of Lafayette Central Catholic. “In particular, we knew that if we are going to be ‘committed to student success,’ we needed to provide more resources to our counseling and guidance team and provide them with the best tools available,” continued Wagner.”
After completing a needs assessment and developing a roadmap for the future, Central Catholic added Dr. Melanie Davis as its Director of Student Services to complement the team and provide another new skillset. Dr. Davis is a school psychologist with over twenty years working and teaching in K-12 and higher education. As part of that push for student success, CC is working to overhaul its guidance and student support services to meet the needs of the 21st Century student and help prepare them for a college and career experience that have many more demands than 20 years ago.
“We work as a team – parent, student, teacher, and our student support staff – to provide each student with the support he or she needs to be successful. We also provide the students with the accountability that holds them responsible,” said Davis. “What we do should not be described as ‘helping struggling students.’ Rather, our goal is that every student can find their God-given strengths through perseverance and patience, and that we can help give them the support and encouragement they need to reach beyond their own perceived limitations.”
To accomplish this goal, Central Catholic has been piloting a new program, Naviance, with its 7th through 9th graders. Naviance capitalizes on individual student strengths and interests and helps match their strengths and interests to colleges and future careers.
“We made a big investment this year to help students connect learning to ‘real-life’ and to work with them to help them understand that their coursework here is important and will impact their future,” said Wagner.
“With parents at the table, we use the data from these profiles to set goals for each student. Our plan is to design coursework at Central Catholic that will help them reach their goals.” said Davis.
“So far, both students and parents seem to really appreciate the long-term value of Naviance. Our hope is to continue to roll this out to a new grade level each year until we are at full implementation across the Junior-Senior High,” said Wagner.