Academic Planning

Future ChoicesKey counselors recognize that each student possesses unique interests, abilities, and goals which will lead to various future life and career opportunities. Collaborating with students, families, educational staff and the community, counselors work to ensure all students become knowledgeable about key learning benchmarks and the academic options and choices within APS to prepare students to make post-secondary choices based on their interests, talents, skills, and goals.


Students discuss course options and develop a plan that will lead to meeting graduation requirements as well as college and career goals. Students develop 21st-century skills in critical and creative thinking, problem solving, collaboration, communication and media technology in order to thrive in college and/or a career.

PREK – 2:

FOCUS: Students begin to build a strong foundation for their academic careers by learning about goals and goal-setting. Students begin to learn about college and careers, through the curriculum with teachers, during counseling classroom lessons with the school counselor, and during school-wide college and career activities.

TAKE ACTION: Ask about and listen to your child’s goals and dreams for their future. Share your goals for their education. Talk to your child about college, jobs, and career experiences in the community.

3 – 5:

FOCUS: Students set educational goals and learn how to monitor their progress towards the goals. Students focus on college and career awareness, and how their personal interests are connected to future careers. Students also learn how skills they use in school connect with college and the world of work.

TAKE ACTION: Set goals with your child at home, and talk about how to accomplish those goals. Include your child when making family decisions and working together on family projects. Ask your child about her/his interests and connect these interests with jobs, work, and careers. Visit a college campus in your community or take a virtual college tour on a computer.

SCHOOL OPTIONS:  What school is right for my child?

Visit for information about APS neighborhood schools and countywide schools and programs, to learn more about their special focuses, exemplary projects and admission policies.


  • Virginia Department of Education: Academic and Career Plan
  • Virginia Career VIEW – Virginia Career VIEW provides career development resources and activities for grades K-5 supporting the Virginia Counseling Standards, Virginia Standards of Learning, and requirements to support the development of the Academic and Career Planning Portfolio. Activities include interactive game play, a kids career search, and multiple resources to print. Parent resources and Professional resources are also included. No Login required.

16 career clusters