Obsee Abbajabal uses Family Connections during  her advisory. Family Connections can be really useful for people who know what they want to do with their lives after high school, Abbajabal said.
Obsee Abbajabal uses Family Connections during her advisory. “Family Connections can be really useful for people who know what they want to do with their lives after high school,” Abbajabal said.
Grace Ballesteros

Family Connections is not I Have A Plan

In 2005, the new mandated law, HF 2392, requiring schools to have a program to get the career ready, was put into place. As a result, the free program, I Have A Plan Iowa (IHAPI),  began using up students’ class time with long surveys and instructions some found confusing.

Because of the difficult utilization of IHAPI and an added price, administration has brought a new program into Advisory. “IHAPI was really ‘we sad,'” counselor, Curt Larkin said. 

In the beginning, IHAPI was free to use, but there were limited actions students could take. When IHAPI started asking for payment for their services, administration decided to look for a program that was more worth the money. Family Connections came as a result. Although there is a significant cost of $12,982 across three school buildings, counselors and administrators alike are hoping students benefit from the program, making the payment worth while.

Many students believe that this new program, Family Connections (FC), is just IHAPI with a different name. “In ninth grade we were told the I Have A Plan thing was done,” Jaedyn Brockway ‘19 said. “It’s just pointless to do it twice.”

While FC does have many of the same components as IHAPI, the newest program makes it easier to maneuver through plans. Instead of going through a new pathway for each grade like with IHAPI, FC allows students to choose what activities they want to complete, when they want. FC allows them to plan a more personalized experience rather than homework

“[FC] has expanded benefits to students, families, and staff,” Larkin said. “Right now, we just want students to explore, that way it will promote conversations with your advisory teacher.”

While many students thought IHAPI was a waste of time, administration has hopes that FC will have a better reaction. They hope that if students give FC a chance, they will realize how helpful it can be for their future. Now, there are a few students who think poorly of the program, some are having more positive thoughts.

“[FC] is sort of productive,”  Simran Gollapudi. said “Considering all we do in my Advisory is eat and watch Dragon TV.”

FC allows students to make adjustments and lets families, counselors and teachers to make suggestions. This means that while only students are allowed to change things about their four-year plan, teachers and counselors can now suggest colleges and courses the student can take to further their education and help them with their goals. The new program will now be able to be used beyond high school days.

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