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RHS Connects Students to College and Career

As part of Ralston High School’s expanded commitment to preparing students for the diverse demands of the future, all 9th through 12th-grade students embarked on college, career, or service-oriented work this fall.

On Tuesday, November 27th, counselors and administrators coordinated the Pre-ACT for 50 9th grade students who elected to take the assessment, all 10th-grade students, and the Practice-ACT for all 11th-grade students.  The ACT college readiness assessment is an important tool in applying to college and for scholarships to help pay for it. The ACT is provided to every 11th-grade student in Nebraska at no cost to them. The assessment is also used by the Nebraska Department of Education to measure academic progress among students.  Ralston Public Schools was a leader in the state, offering the ACT to all 11th-grade students, during the school day, at no cost to families, several years before the NDE adopted it statewide.  “The driving force in planning this day was the vision for students to have college planning, career preparation, Pre-ACT and Practice-ACT opportunities and community service options. It requires a great deal of collaboration, teamwork, and strategic planning.  But once the big ideas are created, then the details start to develop and people are delegated to different assignments from bus reservations to community service planning to testing setup - all of it requires detailed work and follow-through. But it's honestly worth the effort of putting all of this into motion and seeing what benefits the students receive,” said RHS Counselor Stacy Athow.

Here is a photo of an RHS teacher instructing students before the practice ACT

"One of a school's responsibilities is to give every child the opportunity to do their best, and providing quality preparation and assistance for the state assessment that could potentially mean scholarship dollars for our students is a priority,” explained RHS Principal Jesse Tvrdy.

During the day, both 9th and 12th-grade students had the opportunity to volunteer at a number of community organizations.  Ralston High School prides itself on instilling the importance of community involvement in students, who must have 40 community service hours to graduate.  RHS students volunteered at the Salvation Army, Keep Omaha Beautiful, Ralston Senior Center, Papillion Manor, Open Door Mission, Hope Center, and Children's Museum.  Tvrdy continued, “We want to ensure students all have the opportunity to help others, give with their time, and watch their actions make a difference to someone. There is nothing better than knowing your choice and power to do positive things creates joy and support for your community."

Staff also offered Seniors time to complete scholarship applications and test for their National Career Readiness Certificate, which can be especially useful for students entering a trade program or the workforce immediately after graduation.

Senior Michelle Saqui Cortes said of the day, "Honestly, I was kind of mad I had to be here and work on scholarships, but I have four of them done, and now I just need some letters of recommendation.  This was awesome!”