School Guidance Program

Under the leadership of Dr. Arlene Ackerman, The School District of Philadelphia intends to implement a comprehensive plan for achieving the goal of preparing all youth for successful transitions to postsecondary education, careers, and active civic participation by the year 2014. The Do What You’re Built For (DWYBF) Guidance Program, created by the Do What You’re Built For (DWYBF) Foundation, Inc., has been designed and presented to the SDP  to support them with achieving its program goals and implementation plans.

DWYBF Guidance Program Framework

The DWYBF program utilizes an evidence-based and standards-driven framework to create school and learning environments committed to exposing students to academic, career, personal and social resources to help all students successfully transition to postsecondary education, careers, and active civic participation. Additionally, the program will support the creation of structured personalized environments and advisory and school-based mentoring programs that help students navigate the educational process, motivating them to take ownership of their learning. Further, the program assists with student transitions within school and between schools, provides personal and social counseling with an emphasis on conflict resolution, goal setting and increased self-awareness, and creates opportunities for engaging out-of-school youth, families and communities.

Rather than simply identifying and addressing deficits in the current systems, this strengths-based program, rooted in the belief that all the students, their families, schools and communities have tremendous strengths and focusing on and augmenting these strengths will result in enhanced motivation and improved performance. The downloadable concept paper presents an overview of the key DWYBF program core principles, outcomes, program components, program evaluation and fees.

DWYBF Program Core Principles

The DWYBF program core principles overlap and support those articulated for the emerging SDP school reform initiative (Embracing the Challenge, 2008, Imagine 2014, 2009):

Equity and Access: The DWYBF program targets all students, parents, teachers/counselors and administrators.

Quality Teaching and Learning – Aligned, Rigorous, and Engaging: DWYBF program components and methods are integrated across intervention levels (student, parent, teacher, counselor, school administrators) and are based on evidenced-based guidance practices (e.g., American School Counselors Associations Guidelines).

Personalized Learning Environments: The DWYBF program promotes and supports a self-reflective, portfolio approach to addressing students differing needs from Kindergarten to 12th grade within a context of a guidance curriculum.

System-wide Professionalism: The DWYBF program focuses on the creation of a system level professional learning community and standards-driven, locally relevant, Act 48 accredited professional development resources and activities. All professional development activities will be Act 48 approved.

Pathways and Transitions: The DWYBF program helps students, parents, counselors, teachers and schools identify needs and provide supports, programs, and services to students at critical transition points, including their transition from 8th to 9th grade and subsequent progression through high school. Additionally, the program can be used as a supplemental support and intervention for students who require alternative educational services.

Download our School Guidance Program Paper