SAS Senior Project
Senior Project Program
As the Alternative School is a Just Community school, Senior Project is designed to allow graduating seniors to demonstrate their attainment of many of the Coalition’s goals for their education. This culminating experience is intended to let students show that they have become active and self-directed learners, capable of designing their own course of study, of pursuing this work independently in consultation with faculty and other expert “coaches,” and of displaying their mastery of new skills and knowledge in an open exhibition before the whole community. The project is also intended to create an enjoyable and engaging end to the senior year that allows students to finish their high school education on a high note, with a feeling of pride in what they have accomplished.
1. Each student is required to work at least 30 hours per week. Our program involves the same number of hours as the high school’s Senior Options program. The staff expects 30 solid hours of well-documented work each week. A student who does not meet this requirement in any week (except for valid causes such as illness) fails the project.
2. Each project must include at least 10 hours per week working with an “expert” in the topic area. This can be in the form of classes or an internship.
3. Students have a wide range of choices, although all proposals still require approval by the faculty.
a. Independent study projects. A student can build his project around a core essential question and a blend of library and fieldwork. Design around an essential question is not mandatory, however. Purely theoretical and purely practical projects are allowed, though a mix of different types of tasks is encouraged (30 hours a week in the library can get tedious quickly, and most practical skills require some theoretical knowledge to achieve mastery). Learning a foreign language without having an “essential question,” or building an object without 25% library research, are permissible. These projects culminate in a final presentation to the community.
b. Internships. Students can serve in an internship, reflect on their experiences in a journal, and make a presentation to the community to explain and demonstrate what they learned. This choice might be especially attractive to those seniors who did not have a full internship in January because they were enrolled in large numbers of high school classes. These internships culminate in a final presentation to the community.
c. Faculty-led workshops. Groups of students can propose a course of study to a member of the faculty. If the teacher is willing to lead such a course, the teacher and students will spend some of their required hours in class and some doing homework and independent study. These workshops culminate in a presentation to the community with each student participating substantially.
· girls, body image and the media
· one neighborhood in New York City
· how to start a company
· documentary film making
· gender and adolescence
· humor as a social tool
d. Students can also create a project involving a blend of the above choices. For example, a student can participate in a workshop involving 15 hours of class and homework per week, and can spent the other 15 hours in an internship. If a student combines options in this way, the two components of the project would have a similar focus (for example, a teacher-led workshop on “The History of New York City” and an independent photo journalism project about a New York neighborhood).
The Senior Project is tremendous opportunity to try something you have always wanted to do. It represents a very unique opportunity in life. Each of you has 5 weeks to explore any topic of your choice!!! For most people, this will be the last opportunity to pursue a passion for such a long period of time without interruption. I strongly urge you to take advantage of this very special opportunity in your life. Push your limits, expand your mind, take a chance and make it an experience of a lifetime.
· Abide by all agreed upon SAS rules and expectations
· Meet all Senior Project deadlines
· Meet with A-School mentor on a regular basis (scheduled to be agreed upon)
· Provide schedule of activities and goals to mentor for each week
· Keep a journal that includes:
* What I am learning - useful, useless, interesting, ...
· Plan and perform final exhibition (presentation)
· Attend all Core Group meetings (NO EXCEPTIONS)
· Attend all Community meetings (NO EXCEPTIONS)
Each A-School senior will submit a preliminary project idea on or before the due date listed in the above schedule.
The preliminary project idea survey can be found at the following link:
A templale of the form can be found in FORM page. It may be helpful to use this form to prepare your information before submitting it via the link above.
The prelimanary project idea must be submitted with the following information:
By the deadline listed above, you must submit a Senior Project Proposal. This document must include:
· Goals (including an essential question if the question helps you frame your project)
· Specific activities including an explanation of how these will unfold through the four or five weeks of the project and how they will help you achieve your goals
· A list of an Advanced Placement courses you are taking including time you will be obligated to study for and take exams for these courses. Note that Senior Project activities in no way should interfere with full preparation for and completion of AP tests.
· Contact information including phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and regular addresses of anyone for whom you will be interning or with whom you will consult
· A bibliography of any readings you anticipate completing as part of your project
· In the case of projects involving more than one participant, an explanation of why the project requires the number of people involved
· In the case of projects involving travel, an explanation of the nature of the travel and how the project will be enhanced by the travel. Note that your history of responsibility (or lack thereof) may determine to what degree we grant travel requests.
· A timeline for at the first week that you will engage in substantial Senior Project work (if you have more than two AP’s, this timeline would therefore be for week two; for most others it would be for the first week of May)
· Signatures: yours, your parent’s, your mentor’s, internship supervisor’s (in the case of an internship), consultant’s (in the case of a project involving an adult who will serve as an expert with whom you will be consulting at least weekly)
Each week students are required to submit two schedules:
The schedule must include the following information and add up to a minimu of thirty (30) hours:
The following is a template that can be used for submitting your schedule. If you create your own schedule format, make sure that it is legible and includes the required information.
Name ______________________________ Week of ___________________________
Goals completed/not completed from the week:
Goals for this week:
The final task in the Senior Project is for each student to make a presentation to all of their A-School classmates. Presentations are scheduled during the last week of the project and every A-School senior is required to attend every presentation - there are no exceptions so don't even ask!!! This means that you must not schedule a college visit, a prom dress fitting, a wedding or any other event that will prevent you from attending your classmates' presentations.
Presentations time slots are 30 minutes for an individual. A typical presentation utilizes 5 minutes for transition and set up, 20 minutes of presentation, and 5 minutes for questions and audience evaluations. If you are doing a joint project, the presentation time is extended by approximately 25 minutes for each person in the group. If you are working with a High School senior, you must make sure that they are available to be part of your presentation. So make sure that your presentation time slot allows for this requirement.
In addition to your classmates, underclassmen will be present as well. However, they are required to attend only two (2) of the presentations. So they will be coming and going throughout the day while the seniors remain. Audience members will be randomly asked to complete evaluations for the presentations that they observe. This will provide peer feedback and information for your mentor's evaluation.
If you are going to use a computer and projector for your presentation, the materials must be compatible with the school's Dell PC. You will not be allowed to connect your own computer for the presentation. See Jim if you have questions regarding the compatibility of your presentation with the Dell PC and the projector.
2013 SAS Senior Project Presentation Schedule (printable form)
(Available in May)
Last Modified on February 28, 2013