Academic and Career Planning

Durand-Arkansaw School District Academic and Career Planning and PI-26

July 2017, updated May 2021

Academic and Career Planning, or ACP, is a student-driven, adult-supported process in which students create and cultivate their own unique and information-based visions for post-secondary success, obtained through self-exploration, career exploration, and the development of career management and planning skills.  The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction ( in the PI26 legislation requires public school districts to provide academic and career planning services to students in grades 6 through 12 beginning in the 2017-18 school year.  These academic and career planning requirements connect school districts’ education for employment plans and programs to the new academic and career planning requirements.

WI Legislature PI26 and E4E:

ACP is intended to equip students and their families with the tools necessary to make more informed choices about postsecondary education and training as it leads to careers.


It is part of DPI's overall vision for every student to graduate high school college and career ready.  That means students must be competent academically, socially, and emotionally.  We want our students to be strong critical thinkers, collaborate and solve real-world problems, and persevere when things aren’t quite going their way.  When put together, it’s about helping students become productive adults with satisfying careers.

All students will participate in a variety of Academic and Career Planning activities provided by the Durand-Arkansaw School District.  Our district’s mission is to empower all individuals to reach their potential.  Our Academic and Career Planning initiative directly relates to our district mission by providing information and opportunities for self-awareness, career exploration, and academic planning.  Our goal is that all students will be prepared for any academic or career path they choose.

The State of Wisconsin emphasizes four key components to the Academic and Career Planning process as shown below.  The Durand-Arkansaw School District will guide students in moving through the stages using a variety of activities noted on the ACP Activity Outline.  Students in grades 6 – 12 will create a digital portfolio using Xello through various activities including personal inventories, college and career exploration.

Our ACP goal: Upon graduation from Durand High School, all students will have created an Academic and Career plan and will have participated in a variety of activities to prepare them for college or other post-secondary training, the workforce, or the military.

The Durand-Arkansaw School District is located in Pepin County.  The top industries by employment in Pepin County in the 4th quarter of 2016 were: education services, animal production & aquaculture, executive legislative & general government, specialty trade contractors, and nursing & residential care facilities.

Pepin County is part of the West Central Workforce Development Area.  Other counties include: Barron, Chippewa, Clark, Dunn, Eau Claire, Pierce, Polk, and St. Croix.  The West Central Workforce Development Area Industry Projections for 2012-2022 indicate that the top five industries with the highest projected employment increase are: construction, professional & business services, education & health services, leisure & hospitality, and other services.  Specific occupations in these projections are: computer & mathematical, legal, healthcare practitioners, building & grounds maintenance, and construction & extraction.  The occupations with the most projected total openings are: office & administrative support, food preparation & serving, sales & related, production, healthcare practitioners, and transportation & material moving.

The State of Wisconsin’s three leading job sectors include: healthcare & social assistance, retail, and manufacturing.

West Central Wisconsin counties Workforce and Economic Profiles from 2015 generated by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development:

Barron County          Chippewa County     Clark County             Dunn County  

Eau Claire County     Pepin County            Pierce County           Polk County

St. Croix County        West Central Workforce Development Area Economic Brief                    

Wisconsin’s WorkNet: Information to Grow Wisconsin’s Workforce:

The current job market’s impact on student preparation:

These job market projections strongly influence how we will prepare our students for adulthood.  The variety of jobs available in the area and the variations in training required requires us to give students the tools they need to pursue any avenue.  Therefore, our district will be preparing students to immediately enter the workforce, prepare students interested in the trades and technical degrees, and also prepare those students interested in pursuing military careers or advanced degrees at the university level.

The Durand-Arkansaw School District provides students with the opportunity to participate in Youth Apprenticeships, School-to-Work and various Dual Credit programs at technical and four-year colleges.  Students have access to Advanced Placement classes on site or through distance learning.  The District provides a variety of career and technical education classes with transcripted and articulated credit options.

Communication with parents regarding Academic and Career Planning:

Constant and consistent communication with families throughout each student’s educational career will be maintained through email, phone calls, parent/teacher conferences, open houses, and school events.  Specific communication tools such as School Messenger may be used to communicate directly with families and Skyward Student Information System is used for up-to-date information on academics.

The Durand-Arkansaw School District counseling staff meets with students and their parents at least once in each of the following: elementary school, middle school, and high school.  The Xello and ACP websites and resource links on our webpage are another form of communication with parents and the community regarding ACP.  Parents of all 6th – 12th grade students will be encouraged to access their child’s ACP portfolios in Xello.  Letters home and informational presentations will be provided for parents.  This information will also be posted on the District’s website.  The District utilizes a Facebook page and the District Newsletter to keep parents and community members informed about activities and events including Academic Career Planning.

Engaging community stakeholders in Academic and Career Planning:

The Durand-Arkansaw School District partners with local businesses and organizations.

Community stakeholders are invited to be advisors to our program.  Through the Explore and Go components of the ACP model we are partnering  with community members to provide work-based learning opportunities such as Youth Apprenticeships and School-to-Work.  Local and regional businesses are invited into the schools to meet with students and share information about career options, expectations, and soft skills in the workplace.  All high school students have a community service requirement.  In addition, each year Reality Check is provided for students.

The District has partnered with Chippewa Valley Technical College to provided transcripted and articulated classes for students.

The District works with the UW System, other universities, and the military to provide students with an introduction and access to postsecondary options, arranging recruiters and guest speakers in the school.

Many local businesses and organizations have been very generous providing scholarship opportunities for our students.

Meeting the needs of individual students in their completion and review Academic and Career Plan documents:

Academic and Career Planning is for all students in the Durand Middle/High School.  All students participate in Power Hour advisory groups and ACP lessons, student-focused conferences, and completion of an ACP online portfolio.

Student portfolios will be reviewed with students during Power Hour period on a regular basis.  Students will review portfolios with guidance counselor and during parent meetings.  Power Hour teachers and middle school teachers will monitor completion of portfolio activities in the Xello software.

The Durand-Arkansaw School District has a graduation requirement of Personal Financial Literacy or Economics.

Students with disabilities participation in the ACP process and the transition planning process:

All teaching staff work directly with Special Education staff on a regular basis to create goals and assess progress for students with disabilities.  The Director of Pupil Services is a member of the district’s ACP team. Students with disabilities will work with their case managers to develop their online portfolios in Xello as well as develop transition plans for the future.

Connecting students with staff as they participate in Academic and Career Planning:

Each student at Durand Middle/High School is assigned to a Power Hour group consisting of a staff advisor and 10-15 students.  All students will participate in scheduled ACP activities with their group during Power Hour or as part of middle school core courses.  These activities include: student self-inventories, career and college research, presentations by local and regional businesses and education on soft skills. A complete list of activities and grade levels is in our ACP Activity Outline.

Preparing staff to deliver ACP services and support students in their planning:

We will train our staff on using Xello and ACP implementation during our in-service days as well as during flexible professional development opportunities.  To ensure consistency within grade levels, Power Hour, and middle school core teachers will be given prepared presentations and outlines to use with students on days designated for ACP activities.  

The Director of Teaching & Learning attends regional and state ACP conferences and professional training as available.  This information is then shared with staff members.

Teachers are encouraged to integrate career discussions into all units and provide real-world applications to students.

Approval, posting and modification:

Our Academic and Career Plan has been reviewed and approved by our Board of Education and posted on the district website for public viewing. (July 2017)

Throughout the year the ACP team will take feedback from students, teachers, parents, and community members to continually enhance the services we provide to our students.  The team will review strengths and areas of improvement at the end of our academic year and make changes as necessary.  At least once per year the Board of Education will be updated on the implementation, progress and changes of our Academic Career Plan.

If you have specific questions about the Durand-Arkansaw Academic and Career Plan and activities please contact Dr. Gretchen Cipriano, Director of Teaching & Learning, at [email protected] or 715-672-8919 ext. 137.