Graduation Project

The Graduation Project contains four parts:

  1. A research paper demonstrating research skills and writing skills.
  2. A product created through the use of knowledge and skills in a meaningful way to accomplish a goal,
  3. A portfolio to catalogue/document tasks, record reflective thinking and insights, as well as demonstrate responsibility for learning as work progresses through the entire process, and
  4. An oral presentation, during which students become a source of information communicating their project work before a review panel.

Evaluation of the graduation project will be based upon the four components listed above. Students must successfully complete each component of the graduation project to receive a high school diploma.

Successful graduation project programs at the local level are developed and owned by the entire school and community. There is no one size fits all format for implementation. However, there should be clear evidence of the following framework essentials:

  • Commitment to high student accountability in all phases of the process.
  • Commitment to the Three R' s—Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships.
  • Alignment of project content with state and district curricula content goals and objectives. (See Appendix C - Curriculum Skills Matrices.)
  • Integration of knowledge, skills, and performance across all disciplines.
  • Commitment to annual reflection, review, and adjustment of the process.
  • Usage of 6-12 benchmarking to better ensure adequate student preparation.
  • Support and engagement of community members and all school faculty and staff.
  • Leadership and direction from district and individual school administrators that is focused and strong.

Because of the multifaceted, multidisciplinary nature of the graduation project, it is not intended to be housed within one classroom or content area. Although the project culminates in the graduating year, it is benchmarked throughout a student's middle school and secondary school experience, necessitating involvement from the entire program faculty. Graduation project program guidelines should allow for flexibility and input from various stakeholders. Guidelines should provide the opportunity to foster student-teacher relationships, nurture the exploration of new ideas, and encourage student-centered, lifelong learning.

Expectations for implementation of the Graduation Project include the following:

  • All juniors and seniors are to participate.
  • Principals are to establish a steering committee to help implement and monitor the project.
  • All parents and students are to be uniformly informed.
  • All seniors are expected to maintain a project notebook which they assembled as sophomores and juniors.
  • All faculty members are expected to serve as advisors, as needed.
  • All mentors should receive training.
  • All Review Board members should receive training.
  • School results will be reviewed for consistency of evaluation.
  • Principals are responsible for monitoring the appropriate implementation of the project.
P.O. Box 30035
Charlotte, NC 28230-0035
Phone: 980-343-3000
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