In the episode, we talk with High School Coordinator, Kate Bayless, about the details of our upcoming graduation and college and career life for the graduating class of 2023 after Sage Oak.
Click Here: Class of 2023 graduation Information
Click Here: View the Class of 2022 Graduation
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Welcome to another episode of Sage Studio. I'm Tiffiny Webster. And today I am joined with Kate Bayless. I'm so excited to have Kate from our high school department here because today we are talking all about high school graduation, which is coming up fast. So welcome Kate to the podcast. Thank you so much for having me. I'm excited to be here. I am so excited to have you here as well. And I know that everybody looks forward to graduation this time of year. It's fun time for our staff and for the high school department for sure. But definitely the students are getting excited to graduate. Their families are getting excited for the big graduation day. So this is, this is a fun time of year. I love it. Yeah, everyone's looking forward to it. We want to celebrate all of our students, so we're excited to do that. Totally, for sure. Okay, so let's talk first about when is graduation? When is this happening? Yes, so the first week of June Tuesday, June 6th, is when our ceremony is, and the time frame for the ceremony is from 1 to 3 just so guests can plan, but we actually need graduates there at 12 because we do a little run through, kind of a walk through practice graduation, so they know where to go and how to walk in and what's going to happen. And family and guests can even show up as early as 11 if they want. We're going to have some photo backdrops and some fun places just to hang out and take photos and kind of celebrate before we get into the ceremony. So you've already answered a couple of questions that come up often when I'm talking with parents, which is, do you guys do a graduation? Do you do an in person graduation? And the answer to that is yes, it's an in person graduation. Families are definitely welcome to come and participate. Sounds like you've given them a big time frame so that they can come in and get their seats and, you know, take all the pictures that they want to. So that is awesome. Where is graduation going to be this year? So this year it's in Glendora at the Haugh Performing Arts Center at Citrus College. It's a beautiful venue. It's got great seating. Every seat has a good view of the stage and just a really beautiful place. So we're excited to host it there this year. So great. And how many graduates are we having this year? Each year, you know, we've had a bigger and bigger graduating class, which is very exciting. This year we are at 152. Now, not all of those choose to come to our in person ceremony. Some people have other plans or they just don't want to participate. And to help those students, we actually do put together a pre recorded graduation that we send out to everybody. So even if you're not able to come, you're not comfortable coming, you still kind of get to have that same celebration feeling with the slides and the music and a lot of the celebratory things that happen, but 152 graduates this year. So great. Okay, cool. So walk us through a little bit of graduation and. You know, just paint the picture. I've been to these graduations before, so I know they are super exciting. They're very emotional. It's just a great, like, celebratory moment, as you were saying, right? They're a lot of fun. So kind of walk us through, like, what does graduation look like? What can we expect? Yeah, yeah. So we have a, they vary a little bit year to year. But we always have student performers. One of our graduates who maybe sings or plays an instrument will perform. We have student speakers who, who give their words of wisdom and kind of help celebrate the class. We have a keynote speaker this year, her name is Hannah Song, who comes to inspire our students and help them to think kind of outside of high school and what's next for them. We have the diplomas and we have a really fun baby picture slideshow that always makes everybody tear up kind of seeing these graduates from their baby years up to where it's always so cute. Oh, that is so precious. I know I do love that part of the graduation for sure, because the years just really do go by so fast and all of a sudden here they are graduating. So that is so great. I love that you are including all of those different speakers in graduation. I know that in addition to diplomas, many of our students are earning extra awards and seals and things like that on their diploma. So tell us a little bit about what we can expect there. Yeah, in addition to the diplomas, many students win different awards or seals or medallions or cords for accomplishments. We have Golden State's Merit Seal Seal of Biliteracy, Seal of Civic Engagement there are some for National Honor Society members. We have a number of kind of academic ones for students who have earned maybe their AA. Doing a dual enrollment at the community college or even their IGETC which is all of their undergraduate education done while in high school. We have awards for student council officers. And we also really focus on service. That's a big one of, you know, the keys of say joke. And so we always highlight one student who has really gone above and beyond in terms of service and they give a speech to Oh, great. I love that. Okay, I want to go back to a couple things that you mentioned because you just very, you know, quickly snuck in there. The fact that we have students in our high school program who are not only just taking some college classes while they're in high school, but some are even earning AA degrees or completing their IGETC and general education credit towards a four year degree. So let's walk that back. Tell us a little bit about how that is happening. It's amazing. We actually this year have three students who have earned multiple, multiple AA degrees while in high school, which is just mind boggling. They are so driven, so focused, and have really been strategic in their planning of their courses to achieve that. So because of that, we actually have three student speakers this year. We've never had that before, but it was so above and beyond that we really wanted to be able to celebrate them and highlight them. So yeah, earning their AAs they all get a special cord. Students who have finished IGETC will get another special cord. So some of these graduates are going to have cords and medallions and things all over them, really kind of celebrating all that they've accomplished over their high school career. I love it. It's so great. Not only does it speak to the just the fantastic students that we have here, the ones that are willing to try new things, take risks, work a little harder, and they are seeing the payoff of that, which is so incredible, but I think it also speaks to the the education advisors and the staff in the high school department who are so great at guiding these students and these families to all of these different possibilities and truly creating these personalized learning plans To suit the students and their interests and their dreams and their, you know, the directions that they want to move in. So it's such a great credit to both the team and to the families and to the students who are really working hard to make all of that happen. It's so great. The ability for students to be able to get a degrees in a subject that they're really passionate about. Maybe that in high school, we have a broad kind of study of overview, but they're able to go to the community college and really focus in on a specific area and learn about it and get degrees in it. So it's really exciting that we can offer that. Yes, I definitely agree. And that is something that's so special and unique to Sage Oak is because we really embrace that personalization. And we're able to work with the, with the students individually, you they can, you know, find those really personalized pathways. And I mean, what an advantage, not only to their careers, but just to who they are as people and developing that and getting a chance to really pursue that. So. It's really incredible. I know that some of our students are being prepared for, for school and life beyond our diplomas and high school programs here through a program that we offer, which really promotes being ready and prepared for, for college and career life. Can you tell us a little bit about the program that. Our high school department has and how they make sure that our students are being prepared with not just a diploma, but just a little more to give them that edge for graduation. And what comes next? Right, right. Well, the Department of Education really was noticing that just students getting a diploma, like, wasn't really well. enough. They needed something help them be prepared for the workforce, whatever t And so this college and c program came about to rea really be prepared truly high school. And so I lik right? You have to get your diploma. Plus there's something else that's going to just help give you that next edge to be ready for college or career. And there's a variety of pathways that students can take to meet that. They're two of the most common that our students use are taking two community college courses while in high school. Because we are able to really help students pick classes that are going to be ideal for them. That's a really easy pathway for a lot of our students to make to get to prepared status. And the other most common one is probably meeting the A to G requirements to apply to a UC or CSU along with just one community college course. So between those two pathways, we get a lot of our students to get that prepared status. And that's for the college route. There's also the career preparedness, and that has things like doing an apprenticeship, doing a work study, other things that are going to help students really be prepared for the workforce after high school. I love that. It's so great because I think it also to just shed the light on the fact that some students may go on to, you know, complete all of their I get to your general ed credit. Some may even earn an AA degree with the amount of community college classes they have. But even just taking one or two in high school can really help prepare them for life beyond high school. So that's good to know. Tell me a little bit about some of the career technical courses that we have added this year and with art and with child development, because I know that that program is also continuing to grow in the high school department. Yes, we're super excited about that. So CTE, Career Technical Education, really helps to provide students with practical skills in various fields that they can go right into the workforce. A lot of the programs have certifications that they do. That can really give you something tangible to go to an employer or to a program and say, I've accomplished this. Here's what I've learned. So we started with the arts, media and entertainment pathway. And that has three kind of levels that students work through and there's different options of classes that they can take within that. But students can get their capstone in that and and really kind of get some sort of certification. I know we had a handful of students do the adobe be certified as as using the adobe and that's super exciting. That's something tangible that they can go into a job and say, no, I'm certified in this. I don't just dabble in it. I don't just play around with it all for fun. I actually have a certificate for passing a test. We're also adding the early childhood development pathway. And that program is just kind of getting off the ground this year. We're super excited because the kids get these, these babies that they have to care for. They get strollers, they get a carrier and they have to really have like hands on experience caring for an infant. And that's just so great for, for so many kids who are interested in early childhood development. Oh, for sure. I mean, both those programs are so great. One is that you're learning a tangible skill set like Adobe that can be applied to almost any career. Everybody uses those tools in their career. And then you have this like simulation experience to to help the kids with the child development pathway. So I love that. Those are so awesome and incredible for our students. With that in mind, I mean, now it's like. Easy to see how the high school department is really preparing our students for graduation and life beyond. Tell us a little bit about where students go after graduation. Where do most of our students, you know, go? Do they end up in universities, in the workforce? Where do they go? Yeah, we have such a variety. We definitely have a number of students that go directly to a four year college. We have students that go to community college and then transfer on. One of the benefits of taking the community college classes in high school is that it's so much easier to continue doing that when you go, you know, once you graduate, it's not scary and new. You're like, Oh yeah, I've already done this before. I know how to sign up. We have students that go right into the workforce. We have students that go into the military, and we always have students that do something different, take a gap year, do some volunteering, maybe a missions project, do some just exploring about what they want to do. So I know for this year, we have a number of students go who got into four year schools in Biola. various UCs and CSUs. We have a bunch that go outside of California too. Purdue, Texas A& M University of Boulder, Ohio State, Georgia Tech. And so that's super exciting. They're not just staying here. They're really spreading their wings and exploring what else is out there. Oh, for sure. That's incredible. And I mean, I know that also too, beyond just those four year four year university students are going to, I know some of our students are getting like, Some pretty great scholarships to some of these schools as well. Even a couple like to Northwestern or University of Boise were like full ride scholarships. So that's incredible. I think it just speaks so highly to the quality of education that they are getting as well as all the advisement from their teachers, from our school counselors, from the high school department. So. So awesome to see all of that coming together for our graduate, our graduates, and I know that they are super excited about those things. Yeah, it's so fun to see what they do next. We always hope that they stay in touch with us. This year at graduation we're going to have little snippets from past graduates, kind of hear where, what they're doing now, and how their time at St. Joseph really impacted their life. And so it's always fun to kind of see where students end up and what they're doing after graduation. Oh, I love that idea because I just think it paints the picture of what's possible, right? When you start to see someone that's just a little bit ahead of where you are in life, you start to see like what it looks like when you're there at college or when you're there starting a career. So, oh that, that's be a great part of graduation for sure. Okay. Remind us now of all the details that we need for preparing for graduation. So give us the date again. The date is Tuesday, June 6th. Ceremony is from 1 to 3, but we need grads there by at least 12 to do the run through with your cap and gown. You should have already had that. When you check in, we'll give you any questions. that you'll wear. So you don't have to worry about remembering to bring those. We'll have those there for you at check in. But you can come in as early as 11 if you want to take some photos or just relax and not be stressed. There will be assigned seating. So you'll have your ticket. You won't have to like line up and make a mad dash to get to the front row. Tickets are, the request form is available on the Sage Oak website. Graduates can request up to 10 tickets. And if you don't need that many, you can request two or four, whatever you want. But each grad will have the ability to request 10 and then those will be randomly, those groups will be randomly placed throughout the theater. We are going to have, because we have such a big graduating class, we are going to have grads sit in the first two rows together. And so then. Graduate families will be dispersed throughout the rest of that auditorium. But we're, we're really looking forward to it. It will be a great day at Citrus College in Glendora. And we're just looking forward to celebrating the class of 2023. So fun. So good. Okay. So we will put a link in the show notes to the website so that people that want to request tickets can do that. And also are there any any other things that parents need to know or trainings or meetings that they should be attending between now and graduation? We do have a parent webinar coming up next Wednesday, May 10th at 2 30. We can put that link as well. That'll be on zoom, but it'll also be recorded. If you can't make it we'll just be doing a general kind of Q and a talking about tickets, answering any questions that parents or students have. And then in the beginning of June, we'll have kind of like a virtual run through for graduates. So that last webinar will just be for graduates and we'll kind of talk through what they can expect and, and, you know, what they're going to do during their, their big day. So exciting. I'm already feeling excited. I can't believe it is right around the corner. What a way to celebrate our class of 2023. Thank you, Kate, so much for all of that great information and for all the work that you guys have put into these graduates. So awesome. Thank you so much. We'll see you at graduation. Sounds like a plan. See you then.