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WELLSBORO AREA HIGH SCHOOL
225 NICHOLS STREET
WELLSBORO, PA 16901

GRADUATION PROJECT

STANDARDS AND REGULATIONS MANUAL

Dear Student,

Beginning with the class of 2001, all students who intend to graduate from Wellsboro Area High School must undertake and complete a graduation project that meets the standards and provisions stated by the Pennsylvania State Board of Education and the Wellsboro Area School District Board of Directors. This manual is written with the intent of providing you with very specific guidelines and procedures that will help you meet that responsibility. Upon successful completion and presentation of the project in front of an evaluation team, .25 of a credit will be awarded toward graduation to the student.

Please share this document with your parents and review its contents with them. It is very important that they have a complete and thorough understanding of the importance of your project and the seriousness with which our faculty views the requirement.

As your principal, I encourage you to select a project that is both challenging and meaningful to you. Our staff will provide you with the direction and guidance necessary to help you with this endeavor, but we clearly recognize that the primary focus of this assignment rests with you, the student.

Sincerely,

Patrick Hewitt
Principal

HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION REQUIREMENT


In order to graduate from Wellsboro Area High School, a student shall complete a project in one or more areas of concentrated study while under the guidance and direction of a mentor or a mentoring team. The purpose of the project, which may include research, writing, or some other appropriate form of demonstration, is to ensure that the student is able to apply, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information and communicate significant knowledge and understanding.

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MISSION STATEMENT

The mission of the Wellsboro Area School District is to empower students to strive for personal improvement and become productive citizens in our local community and successful members of our global society. We intend to accomplish this through providing:

  • Continual development of an educational partnership among home, school, and community;
  • A high quality education;
  • An atmosphere of security and acceptance; and
  • Recognition of the rich cultural vitality of the community


WE BELIEVE THAT:

  • An educational partnership consists of home, school, and community, and promotes a positive learning experience.
  • Clearly stated, obtainable goals and high expectations will yield higher results. Each individual has the right to a learning environment that promotes curiosity, creativity, cooperation, critical thinking, and excellence.
  • An educational partnership has a responsibility to nurture and provide for the area's cultural development.
  • Educational experiences reinforce honesty, integrity, and strong moral character.
  • Respect for ourselves and others is essential to the learning process. Each and every person is important and unique.
  • In a democracy people have power and responsibility.
  • All individuals can make a difference for themselves, their families, and in their communities.
  • Education empowers all people to achieve equality.
  • All children have a right to safe and secure school environment.
  • Each child has individual abilities and different learning styles.
  • The school is a partner in the development of the community.
  • Effective education involves responsible management of all resources.
  • Educational excellence includes a staff continuously striving for self-improvement.
  • Parents and guardians are essential parts of the educational team.
  • We can inspire excellence!

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INTRODUCTION

A project is defined as a formal assignment chosen by a student that combines essential learning activities and skills. It is designed and intended to be comprehensive and to be of the highest quality, in both scope and breadth.

A PROJECT ASSIGNMENT

  • Provides a significant learning experience
  • Provides choice, allowing students to pursue individual interests
  • Provides students an opportunity to express ideas and talents
  • Promotes the opportunity for creativity as well as practicality
  • Promotes the self confidence gained by completing a project
  • Provides for individual learning differences
  • Integrates learning
  • Promotes the idea of ownership
  • Applies to all students
  • Provides an opportunity for cooperative learning experiences
  • Promotes accountability and responsibility

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STANDARDS AND REGULATIONS

In order for your graduation project to be a successful learning experience and to represent your best effort, you must thoroughly understand and adhere to all standards and regulations. The information provided on this page of the manual is critically important to you. It is provided to you to insure that you have all of the requirements at your disposal and that you refer to them as needed when working on your project. You should check with your advisor when appropriate to make certain that any questions or concerns you may have are addressed. Remember -- it is your responsibility to be aware of and follow all steps and procedures.

Project Characteristics

Your student project:

  • May involve a project outside of any existing curriculum requirement
  • May be an "extension" of a course or program
  • Should contain documented effort
  • Shall be "original' as defined by the personal nature of the project as indicated on the application
  • Shall contain a written plan of action
  • Shall contain a written goal or outcome which indicates the purpose of the project
  • Shall contain a written self-evaluation
  • Shall contain the written consent of your parent or guardian and the approval of your advisor
  • Shall adhere to all checkpoint and timeline requirements (variations to these standards and regulations must receive the written approval of the principal)
  • May take the form of service, research / problem-solving, or presentation (oral, written, or visual performance)

    The presentation of the project to the graduation project committee should be a maximum of twenty minutes.

Students may choose to work as a group for the project. Each student will be responsible for completing their own Appendices and taking part in the presentation of the project in front of the Evaluation Team. Students are responsible for letting their advisors know they are participating in a group project. This will allow the advisors to be scheduled on the same Evaluation Team and will allow the group to present the project at the same time.


Examples

Service:

  • Volunteer in a nursing home or hospital
  • Complete an environmental project (reclaim a stream)
  • Office work for a Human Service Agency, Red Cross, or American Cancer Society
  • Service to the arts (work at gallery)
  • Circle of friends (support of special needs students)

Research:

  • Complete a research project that combines the skills you have attained in your course work
  • Develop a hypothesis and prove or disprove it
  • Select a problem or perceived problem that is real and develop a solution (e.g., increase school spirit, raise student SAT scores)

Presentation:

  • Organize and participate in a speech contest
  • Speak to service organizations
  • Extend component of Odyssey of the Mind Competition
  • Organize and participate in a display of art work
  • Videotape or demonstrate live an activity, such as replacing brakes, painting a car, building a model, performing computer maintenance, cooking in a contest
  • Practice and develop a skill, then perform it in front of live audience
  • Write a speech, play, or short story

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TIMELINE AND CHECKPOINTS

Timelines and checkpoints are provided to serve as "benchmarks" for your project. You must adhere to the calendar shown below so that you do not fall behind and also so that we have an accurate accounting of your progress. Although sufficient time is given for your entire project, we suggest that you get started immediately in developing your initial proposal. Very often the most difficult task is determining a project topic or goal.

SOPHOMORE YEAR
  1. Read your manual carefully and discuss it with your parents.
  2. Begin to think about your project topic or goal.
   

JUNIOR YEAR

  3. Meet with your assigned advisor for consultation.
  4. Complete interest inventory.
  5. Complete Appendix A, the written plan of action.
  6. Meet with your advisor for proposal review and authorization.
  7. Submit your final proposal application to your advisor.
  8. Prepare your written plan and complete Appendix B.
  9. Submit your final project to your advisor for review and authorization
  10. Begin your project
  11. Meet with your advisor for consultation
   
SENIOR YEAR
  12. Submit your final project to your advisor, including
    1. Proposal application
    2. Written plan
    3. Self-evaluation
    4. Project

January 1- April 15 -- Your final project will be assessed by the evaluation team.

(Note: Upon agreement with your advisor, you may accelerate the timeline described here, but the project must be presented to the evaluation team during the senior year.)


PARENTS WILL BE NOTIFIED OF YOUR PROGRESS.

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ADVISOR

During your sophomore year, you will be assigned an advisor. Consideration will be given to the student/advisor match. Your advisor will be a professional staff member of the Wellsboro Area School District. No advisor will have more than seven students. Your advisor will aid and guide you through your project responsibilities. Keep in mind that your graduation project is a personal obligation and not the responsibility of your advisor. You may use an outside coach or consultant; however, you are ultimately responsible to the school advisor. If you intend to work with people other than school district staff, you should meet regularly as a team.

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PROPOSAL AND APPLICATION

You will submit a written proposal that will serve as your project application. In general, your application will state what your project is about, what you hope to learn, and how you intend to undertake your project. You will discuss your proposal application with your parents for their advice and subsequently with your advisor for review and authorization. You will submit a final copy of your proposal application to be kept with your graduation project file. You may then begin to work on a written plan, which will describe your project in detail.

Your written plan serves to document and explain all of the components of your project including:

  • Personal interest
  • Project plan
  • Resources
  • Project presentation (the final form will your project take)

Your written plan must be typed, dated, and signed. Also, it must be of sufficient length to appropriately describe your project.


(See Appendix A)

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SELF-EVALUATION


One of the most important components of the graduation project requirement is the self-evaluation. The personal nature of your project places a great value on your self-evaluation. After all, what you have learned and the new insights you have gained represent the true significance of this assignment. As such, we have included a self-evaluation form for you to complete. The form requires that you write your thoughts according to the information or questions asked.

Please be thorough and complete with your responses. Your self-evaluation will become a part of the over-all assessment of your project. It must be completed satisfactorily in order to be included with your project.

(See Appendix C)

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ASSESSMENT

There are two components to the assessment of your graduation project:
Self-evaluation of the project
Formal assessment or evaluation of the project
Your perception of your performance is very important, but the formal evaluation by the evaluation team will ultimately determine whether it is deemed acceptable as one of your graduation requirements. As such, your final project will receive careful scrutiny from the three-person evaluation team (including the advisor) assigned to review your report.

You must make certain that all five parts to your project are submitted to your advisor before October lst of your senior year:

  • Proposal
  • Application
  • Written plan
  • Self-evaluation
  • The project itself

If you fail to address these responsibilities, your project may be rejected.

(See Appendix D)

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APPENDICES

The following are links to the appendices in Microsoft Word format, so that you may edit the document directly and submit it.

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Appendix A (Application Form)

Appendix B (Written Plan)

Appendix C (Self-Evaluation Form)

Appendix D (Assessment Form)

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Last Updated: 12/11/2002