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Pivot Program: Ninth-graders busy with projects, college visits  

picture of students working on project

Ninth-grade students work in groups on a class project for the Pivot Program.

Fall 2017 Update


Pivot Program educators report that ninth graders have accomplished a lot during the past two months of the program. To date, students have had opportunities to get to know their school counselors, listen to three guest speakers, visit college campuses in surrounding areas and complete various class projects designed to get each student thinking about their future. Download a copy of the Pivot Program Fall Update

Listed below are the guest speakers who have visited so far, the colleges students have visited, and the projects completed in class.

Guest Speakers

● School Counselors: Dave Olszewski and Katelyn McAvoy

● Joe Fronczek: Fireman and Funeral Director

● Yorden Huban: City Lawyer

● Don Clickner: Retired Fire Chief and Business Owner


College Visits


  University at Albany

  Rensslaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

  Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC)

  Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA)

  Southern Vermont College (SVC)


Class projects


Personality Assessment

Students were required to complete an interest and personality assessment to be used to identify their highest scores within each category provided. Following the assessment students were required to work in groups of 4 or 5 in order to present their personality trait to the class.


Naviance is a college and career software that the district uses beginning in 7th grade with students. This allows students to put their information in one spot so that it is ready for use when they graduate; to apply for colleges or pursue outside employment. In our course, students were required to complete interest inventories about their personality traits and career interests. They were then asked to complete a packet that allowed them to research various colleges and careers that they felt they were interested in based on the results of their inventories. Students then took the project a step further and created presentations in order to explain to the class why they felt this would fit them. The students then presented their findings to their classmates within their class.


Students were required to complete a budgeting packet based on their career interest from their Naviance assignment. They completed a series of steps in order to develop a budget that would allow them to live comfortably with the career they chose. This project allows students to use various executive functioning skills in order to calculate totals and make the tough decisions on what is feasible and what they may need to cut out of their “potential” life in order to stay on budget and live within their means.

Attendance required

Many activities and assignments are planned for students in the coming months that will continue to strengthen their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. That said, it is important for students to recognize that Pivot is a credit-bearing course, and therefore their attendance in class is imperative. Since the course is only offered three days a week, it is easy for students to fall behind when a class is missed. Please make sure students attend Pivot to receive the most out of this experience.

If you have any questions and/or concerns, please reach out to the Pivot counselor or any the Pivot teachers using the contact information below:

Ms. Clickner, School Counselor: cclickner@vlietschools.org

Ms. Farruggio, ELA: cfarruggio@vlietschools.org

Ms. Palkovic, ELA: spalkovic@vlietschools.org

Ms. Frisbee, Math: vfrisbee@vlietschools.org

Picture this: Pivot activities

picture of students working in groups

picture of students working in groups

picture of students on college tour