Sunday, May 9, 2010

LW School District's Senior "Culminating Project" is revamped

Senior Lexie Yoder is downloading her "artifacts" to a school computer while teachers read her resume.

It's second semester in high school and time for all good Seniors to present their "Culminating Projects".  Only this year it's totally different.

Lake Washington School District seniors are no longer required to put very long hours into a project that culminates into something "really big" and "really important".  True, many culminating projects were successful and rewarding.  (Read about the 2008 dodge-ball tournament.)  But, time demands were often so large that some students would "fake it" just to so they could get through and graduate.   So, away with the old.

"Graduation Presentations" have replaced Culminating Projects.  Students stand up and speak about how high school has prepared them for the future.  They present 14 school assignments (artifacts) and relate them to their personal attributes.  They describe three jobs and three schools of interest;  and submit a resume and cover letter for a possible part-time job.

Pam and I sat in on our daughter's presentation.  Lexie wanted us to come.  She described her top three growth assignments:   her college essay, a skit in Mr. Anderson's class, and assisting Ms. Leonard's second grade class.   I can't remember the last time I saw my child perform in a classroom setting, and was awestruck by how she had blossomed into a mature, young woman.    We are deeply touched by Lexie's Graduation Presentation and it's gift.  This was truly a culminating event for our entire family!    We were lucky to have a flexible schedule to see our daughter.  Should the school be more flexible for parents on tight schedules?   This is a once in a lifetime moment. 

This note from a friend about his daughter's presentation speaks for itself:
As the presentation went on, I was overcome with what my baby has become. Moments passed through my head of all the adversity...she faced and how amazing this graceful, smart and beautiful child has emerged. What I want to convey here is, not only to brag upon my child, but to let the community of Redmond know that there are many of these wonders within our midst. 
Entry by Bob Yoder
I-Phone photo by Yoder


Jactive said...

Congratulations to you and your wife, Bob, for raising such an outstanding young daughter. You should be very proud!

Anonymous said...

A couple years ago I mentored a high school senior for her project, so I have a perspective on that process. This year I sat as a senior presentation judge with another community volunteer and a teacher. The new program is a definite improvement. This year's sophomores and juniors now know what is ahead in terms of their senior presentation, and throughout their high school career can be thinking about how their work now impacts their future. Excellent way to meld life skills they learn in tandem with academics and extracurricular activities.