School Districts to Offer ‘Graduation Guides’ to Keep Students on Track


DC public schools (DCPS) are hoping to get and keep high school students on track to graduate and head off to college with their new “Guide to Graduation, College, and Career.”

Personalized for each student, all high school students in DCPS will receive a PDF document twice a year that will track their progress to graduation and offer college and career options, NPR reported. The guides will be mailed and available online.

Each guide will include an unofficial transcript, along with information about progress towards graduation requirements, a map of colleges and universities categorized as “likely,” “match,” or “reach,” and a list of potential career opportunities and future salaries.

If a student is falling behind in any area, those sections will be denoted in red.

“It’s definitely an enhancement to our transparency around graduation,” DCPS Chancellor Lewis Ferebee told NPR. “It’s a way that we can monitor, along with families, where students are on their journey to graduation.”

This strategy has been used in other areas of the country as well.

Long Beach Unified school district in California is in its second year with its “graduation guide.” The program has been so successful, the district plans to roll out a high school readiness guide for middle school students.

Robert Tagorda, director of equity, access, and college and career readiness for Long Beach, said this helps ensure the quality of counseling and support across the whole district. Plus, it helps make the graduation and college admission process easier for students and families.

“Students are inundated with data,” Tagorda said. “What students and families want to know is, ‘What do I need to really understand that will make a difference for my student’s admission to college?'”

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Ashley Dobson is NACAC’s senior communications manager for content and social media. You can reach her at

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