- College and Career Exploration in Elementary and the Years to Come
- Middle School Educational Planning Guide: See What CFB Has to Offer!
- College Readiness: Get a Head Start Now by Understanding How to Prepare
- List of Elementary School Counselors by Campus
Paws in Jobland for Elementary Students
Paws in Jobland is an online career awareness program where an animated dog named Paws guides elementary school students through Jobland and assists them in exploring and identifying career interests. Students may click on a building within the community map to explore the jobs within the building, or they may search for jobs by title. Descriptions include picture and audio that show students what each worker performs in his or her field.
Simple quizzes help students identify personal interests and relevant career options to investigate from the assessment results. Students may also take knowledge quizzes and play games to test what they learn from their exploration activities.
Looking Ahead: Xello for Middle School and High School Students
Xello is an online college, career and military exploration and planning program that gives middle and high school students more control of their exploration and preparation for postsecondary success. Activities focus on assessing, recording and reflecting on strengths, skills, and interests and thinking critically about how to apply new knowledge to create plans.
Students may search for colleges and majors by many different factors, and multiple search criteria exist such as location, cost of attendance, programs offered, average admissions criteria, and more. Xello has career interest surveys to help students define their personal preferences and align them with possible careers to explore. Descriptions of numerous careers are available, including the typical education needed to work in the field, median income, typical daily tasks, and more. Students may save searches and create a portfolio and resume, as well.
Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID)
The AVID College Readiness System is designed to equip students with the skills necessary for postsecondary success. Students participating in AVID classes employ WICOR strategies of Writing, Inquiry, Collaboration, Organization, and Reading to further their academic skills. Examples of these methodologies include focused note taking, higher-level thinking strategies, the utilization of planners and binders, and engagement in academic discussions with peers.
AVID campuses promote a college going culture through banners, pennants, college exploration activities and field trips. At the secondary level, AVID students are expected to take courses of rigor and tutorial support is provided to support students with higher level coursework. AVID high school students also receive guidance regarding the college application process including preparation for college entrance exams and applying for scholarships/financial aid.
While not all students are able to participate directly in the AVID Elective course, campuses which have the AVID College Readiness System are encouraged to promote the use of AVID methodologies on a school-wide basis so that all students are able to acquire college readiness skills.
AVID is available at all Middle Schools and all High Schools. For elementary, AVID is offered at Central, Davis, Farmers Branch, Furneaux, McKamy, McWhorter, Sheffield, and Thompson.
During the spring of students’ fifth grade year, elementary and middle school counselors will work together to provide 5th graders and their parents information about course selection for middle school.
The Middle School Educational Planning Guide provides the name and descriptions of courses offered in middle school by grade level, along with prerequisites needed for special courses.
Choices in Middle and High School: Career and Technical Education (CTE) Programs of Study
Preparing all students for the opportunity to succeed in today's competitive global economy, Career and Technical Education complements and enhances academic preparation by providing all students with the opportunity to integrate academics and technical education in rigorous, relevant programs of study to give them the tools for a lifetime of success.
On CFBISD’s Programs of Choice page, parents and students may view CTE and Advanced Academics programs and filter results by the campuses that offer each of them. After selecting a Program of Study, clicking “About the Program” leads viewers to information about the courses and career pathways. More detailed information about courses may be found in the High School Educational Planning Guide.
Parents may consider familiarizing themselves with middle school courses before the spring of their children’s 5th grade year in order to speak with their children about their interests in the courses available. Please consult your child’s school counselor with any questions pertaining to middle school course selection.
Several programs exist to help students afford to go to college, and the state of Texas requests that school districts notify parents early of the opportunities available to students. It is never too early to plan for the future, and CFB strives to provide parents with the background knowledge to make informed decisions.
Correlation between Education and Earning Potential
Research shows that earning potential is higher for individuals who have education after high school. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics demonstrates how earnings correlate to education level- the greater the education level, the more workers tend to earn. We want to remove barriers to students entering and completing college and postsecondary certification programs by providing the information to help students understand the importance of continuing education after high school.
Coursework Designed to Prepare Students for Postsecondary Education
Parents may also speak with their children early about taking courses that challenge them and help them prepare well for college. CFBISD offers numerous Career and Technical Education programs of study in middle and high school, dual high school/college credit courses, and Advanced Placement courses to support students’ advancement and provide them with the rigor to perform will in college courses. When students meet criteria in dual credit courses and on Advanced Placement exams, they may even use the credit toward college degree plans without having to spend money on the courses while in college- an added benefit of preparing well ahead of time. Parents may refer to the Middle School Educational Planning Guide and the High School Educational Planning Guide for more information.
Saving and Paying for College
There are many ways to save and pay for college, and knowing availability and requirements ahead of time will help parents and students prepare.
Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA) is state graduation requirement for high school seniors. Completing the FAFSA or TASFA can open many different doors to affording college. For students who are Citizens or Permanent Residents of the United States, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is available. For undocumented students, the Texas Application for State Aid (TASFA) is completed. Both applications are available beginning October 1st of senior year. The FAFSA is completed online and the TASFA completion is being updated by the state and/or the higher education institution. There is no fee for either application.
Both the FAFSA and TASFA allow students to access four types of financial aid:
- Scholarships: awarded money that is based on need, merit or achievement that does not have to be repaid
- Grants: awarded money often based on monetary need that does NOT have to be repaid as long as students meet the minimum requirements for enrollment, credit and GPA
- Work Study: Students who demonstrate financial need may eligible to work jobs generally on campus for limited hours
- Loans: Money is borrowed and must be repaid with interest
Parents should know that accurate and timely filing of taxes can impact their children’s eligibility for financial aid. Applications require reporting of tax information for the “prior, prior year,” meaning that applications for students entering college in the fall of 2024 will ask students and their parents for tax information for the year 2022. It is important that taxes are filed to prevent issues with financial aid awards. For families or individuals without earnings, financial aid applications will ask additional questions to determine students’ funding needs. High school counselors and CCMR deans are able to assist parents with financial aid applications and hold many assistance events each year so that families have the support they need to complete the applications.
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) provides leadership and coordination for Texas higher education and strives to promote access, affordability, quality, success, and cost efficiency of education after high school (postsecondary education). THECB is another resource that provides Texas residents with more in-depth information about federal and state financial aid opportunities and requirements.
Texas universities may offer the Toward EXcellence Access and Success (TEXAS) Grant, which is targeted at $2,500/semester for eligible students. Completing college admissions applications and financial aid applications early is important for the opportunity to receive TEXAS Grant awards. Priority is given to applicants who complete the FAFSA and apply prior to January 15th of their senior year. Students must meet the academic standards set by their college or university to receive awards, and the financial aid office of the college will notify students of eligibility. Please visit the THECB College for All Texans website for general eligibility requirements and contact the financial aid office of your university early to determine how you may confirm your application for the TEXAS Grant.
The Dallas County Promise is a last-dollar tuition scholarship program available to graduating students from all CFB high schools. Regardless of high school GPA or family income, Promise scholars have the opportunity to earn a last-dollar scholarship that will cover the gap between what a student’s state and federal financial aid covers and the cost of tuition at a Promise Partner college. Promise scholars also have access to a Success Coach and exclusive transfer scholarships at Promise partner colleges and universities. The Promise is in the process of adding new college partners, and students may refer to the Dallas County Promise website for updates. To be eligible, the student must be enrolled and attending a participating high school by the state attendance snapshot date, which is mid- to late-October of the student’s senior year, must graduate from a participating high school, and must complete all required steps by the deadlines identified for the student’s senior year. High school counselors and CCMR Deans assist students with a pledge (sign-up process), college admissions application, and a financial aid application so that students have the help they need to complete all steps of eligibility.
The Texas Automatic College Admissions policy provides certain students who graduate in the top 10% of their high school class with automatic admission into Texas public universities. Students with grade point averages in the top 10% of their class may also be eligible for scholarships and should review their colleges’ admissions and financial aid webpages for scholarship opportunities.
Your elementary school counselor will be your primary contact for college and career exploration and guidance. Please reach out to your counselor with any questions!
All phone numbers are 972-968-XXXX (Extension in place of XXXX)
|1st, 3rd, 5th
|Kinder, 2nd, 4th