DISD PEP Sessions prepare students for successful futures


For thousands of Denison ISD students, college and careers are not happenstance. They’re carefully discussed, planned and tailored down to the last detail in a wide variety of programs and assemblies that provide information and guidance for students as well as their parents. One such program, in operation for more than a decade, is a counseling program called PEP (Pre-Enrollment Planning) where school officials and families come together to pair students’ interests and desires with availability and affordability. Texas Statutes require every school district to ensure that each student, on entering ninth grade, indicates in writing an endorsement that the student intends to earn.

The annual PEP sessions are mandatory for all eighth grade students and parents. Hosting the sessions are counselors, teachers and administrators who gather for three days each year at Scott Middle School with students and their families to plan for success in college – and eventually the work world.

“During PEP sessions, we carefully draft ‘blueprints for success’ for each and every student,” said DHS Lead Counselor Carrie Boettger. “Simply put, it’s a course schedule and long-term plan that includes all four years of high school plus two to four years after graduation,” said DHS Lead Counselor Carrie Boettger. “Our goal is to help students and parents actually plan for what’s ahead and see what it’s going to take to get there, both in terms of student work and family resources. The kids and parents fill out forms prior to the PEP sessions that focus on talents, fields of interest, strengths, likes and dislikes, college and career goals, scholarship and grant possibilities…and the family budget. Once we all meet together, we talk about how best to achieve those goals through a high school curriculum that can include Advanced Placement and Dual Credit courses which, if students work hard, can turn into college credits.”

In some cases, according to Boettger, students graduate high school with two years of college credits under their belts and the expert training they need to enter the work force.

“For students who aspire to be health care technicians, pursue careers in manufacturing or other specialists in a wide variety of career-tech occupations, those two years of credits combined with the successful completion of required high school courses can have those students ready to begin successful futures doing something they love to do,” said Boettger. “The same principle holds true for our college-bound students who sign up for a full slate of Advanced Placement courses with the goal of becoming teachers, lawyers, doctors, accountants, scientists and other professionals. Our goal is to carefully plan and lay the foundation for future professions and careers that will be both financially and personally rewarding for all our students.

DHS Principal Dr. Cavin Boettger was one of dozens of Denison ISD school officials who spent hours with 8th graders and their families drafting academic course plans for high school and beyond. The goal of the PEP (Pre-Enrollment Planning) sessions: to help students plan course work and set goals that will lead to lifelong success.

An 8th grade student and his mom worked closely with DHS Lead Counselor Carrie Boettger to coordinate student interests and talents with academic plans for high school and beyond during PEP (Pre-Enrollment Planning) sessions last week.

Denison ISD school officials spent valuable time with 8th grade students and parents last week in PEP (Pre-Enrollment Planning) sessions at Scott Middle School, helping families plan for successful futures. “The kids and parents fill out forms prior to the PEP sessions that focus on talent, fields of interest, strengths, scholarship and grant opportunities, family resources and long-term goals,” said Boettger. “Once we come together in PEP sessions, we establish an appropriate academic plan and course schedule for achieving those goals.”

Parents and students shared happy smiles with Denison ISD school officials as they worked together to draft academic plans for success that include all four years of high school and two to four years after graduation. “Our goal is to help students and parents plan for what’s ahead and see what it’s going to take to get there, both in terms of student work and family resources,” said DHS Lead Counselor Carrie Boettger.


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