Green & Gold Initiative

Student writing on goal setting worksheetGreen & Gold Team Leader SessionLead student discussing worksheet with classStudent showing goals worksheetGreen & Gold LeadersStudents collaborating in Green & Gold advisory class

What is the Green & Gold Initiative?

The Green & Gold Initiative is a pilot program that was implemented in the fall of 2018 at Pelham High School. The program aims to enhance how we prepare students for success in high school and beyond. Feedback from universities and industry reveals that many of today’s students need increased focus on soft skills such as: initiative, perseverance, collaboration, and individual accountability. This program goes beyond traditional classroom subject matter to help students engage in planning and accomplishing their educational goals while attaining important life skills.

How Does the Program Work?

With the guidance of teacher and peer mentors, students in grades 9-12 are encouraged to set, track, and accomplish goals related to different indicators of educational involvement and college and career readiness. Students meet with teachers and peer mentors once a month during an advisory period to discuss goals, track progress, and engage in interactive lessons to encourage the development of soft skills and boost college and career readiness.

What are the Indicators and Expectations?  

  • Attendance: Students must have 97% attendance (no more than 5 absences per year)
  • Behavior: No Class II Referrals or higher as indicated by the Student Code of Conduct
  • Grade point average: Maintain a 3.0 or better GPA 
  • Rigorous coursework: Advanced Academic Diploma
  • Industry credentials: 1 Industry Credential or 2 Certifications
  • Extra Curricular: Participation in athletics, band, and theater
  • Clubs: Participation in approved club with community service component
  • Work Experience: Students who provide a work verification form 
  • Military Service: Signing with branch of military service   

Students are not required to meet expectations in all areas. A student can achieve “Green Status” by attaining two of the indicators, and “Gold Status” can be achieved by attaining four of the indicators. 

Program Data from Year One

After the 2018-2019 school year, indicator data was tracked on 251 seniors from the Class of 2019.

  • 222 seniors met Green or Gold Status (117 Gold /105 Green)
  • 29 seniors did not achieve Green or Gold Status, but 25 of the 29 seniors only needed one more indicator to meet the Green benchmark.

Students were also surveyed on 12 items relating to their overall feelings about success, hope, goal setting, stress, resilience, and more. 

  • 10 of the 12 items tracked positive percentage changes from the first survey in the fall to the second survey in the spring.
  • Over 90% of students provided feedback indicating that Green or Gold status is a goal that they can reach.

Going Forward

  • The Board of Education approved the continuation of the initiative as a pilot program at the July 2019 Board of Education meeting.  
  • Data has been verified for the returning PHS students to track indicators in the next school year. 
  • Overall program goals and opportunities for improvement have been developed.
  • Program data, student surveys, and other feedback will be monitored each year. Adjustments and improvements will be made to continually improve student experiences and program goals. 

Plans for Green & Gold Recognition

  • In the 2019-2020 and the 2020-2021 school years, seniors who attain the gold benchmark will be given a gold tassel to distinguish their accomplishment.
  • In the 2021-2022 school year, the exemption policy for final reviews and exams for the second semester will be revised*:
  • Seniors who attain Green or Gold status will be exempt from second semester reviews and exams.
    • Current exemption policy is based on GPA, attendance, and behavior. Green and Gold status expands the number of students who will be eligible for the exemption because they can meet two or more of any of the Green & Gold program indicators to be eligible for exemption.
  • Seniors who do not attain Green or Gold status will be required to attend school for all classes, final reviews, and exams during the second semester exemption period. These students will also be required to participate in soft skills sessions scheduled during the review and exam days. 
    • The sessions will be designed to emphasize the importance of soft skills such as accountability, collaboration, and communication in future endeavors beyond high school. These students must attend every day during the exemption period to participate in the graduation ceremony.
  • Beginning with the Class of 2022, all seniors who attain Green or Gold status and those who attend all required reviews, exams, and soft skills sessions during the second semester exemption period will participate in the graduation ceremony.
  • Those students who attain Gold status will wear a gold tassel, and those who either attain Green status or attend all required final review, exams, and soft skills sessions during the exemption period  will wear a green tassel.  

* Changes noted are related to the second semester exemption policy for Seniors Only. The current exemption policy remains in effect for seniors in the first semester and all other grade levels for first and second semester. 

NOTE: The Green & Gold Program does not impact the requirements to earn a high school diploma as determined by the State of Alabama.