Archive for Wednesday, December 15, 2004

THS students to complete senior projects

Class of 2008 first group to undertake requirement

December 15, 2004

Tonganoxie High School principal Tatia Shelton has a plan.

As a requirement for high school graduation, future THS graduates will be required to complete a senior project.

This will include a written report, a physical project and an oral presentation made to a panel of experts.

Shelton told school board members at Monday night's meeting that the projects are totally student driven.

With the help of an advisor faculty member, the student will select their project topic.

The project requires that the student spend a minimum of 15 hours outside of school working on the project.

"I had one young lady that learned to quilt," said Shelton, who has been involved with this at other schools. "She put 188 hours into a quilt, she had never quilted before."

Another former student organized a renaissance style activity at school, even bringing horses in as part of the project.

The important thing, Shelton said, is that the project must be a new experience for the student.

"It must be a learning stretch," Shelton said. "The kids can't take something that they already know how to do."

The topics are endless, Shelton said.

"I've seen kids do fund-raisers for local schools, for charities, whatever they decide to do," Shelton said. "There's a lot of impact in our community. It's important that students experience success -- every student can experience success here."

The senior class of 2008 will be the first class required to complete the senior projects, Shelton told board members.

Though completion of senior projects will be required for graduation, Shelton said the grade won't be calculated into a student's grade point average. It will become a pass/fail grade.

Board member Rick Lamb said it seems like the projects will need help on the front end.

"Kids need ideas," Lamb said.

"Oh, I have lots of ideas," Shelton said. "Part of the process is brainstorming that actually gets kids interested in that -- what they're interested in and what they can do."

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