SENIOR PROJECT GUIDELINES & EXPECTATIONS
The student-initiated program provides seniors an opportunity to conclude their educational experience and graduation requirements by:
1. Providing community service to an area in or around Scotch Plains and/or Fanwood.
2. Engage in an internship with a local merchant, businessperson, or other organization for the purpose of career exploration.
3. Engage in a Self-directed project.
The community service/internship must be:
1. Approved by the school principal.
2. In the form of a non-remunerative service to an organization and/or the community that connects to the student’s career aspirations.
3. For an organization/firm where the student has had no outside relationship with the employer.
DURATION OF PROJECT:
The experience would begin in late May and conclude on the last student day in June. Furthermore, students would be required to return to the high school for their presentation and for Commencement practice. Tomorrow’s Teachers will begin their experience earlier than Senior Project students.
1. Students must have an all course GPA of 2.5 or higher calculated after the third marking period of their senior year. A student must have a “C” or better in all classes for each marking period in which they are enrolled.
2. Any student who has been assigned out-of-school suspension during their senior year is not eligible.
3. Any student who has exceeded eight (8) absences and four (4) tardies by the first day of the program will not be eligible (late medical or other excuses are not accepted). Normally, excused must be submitted within a 4-day period.
4. The principal will review all exceptions to the eligibility guidelines.
TYPE OF PROJECTS:
Experiences can include, but are certainly not limited to the following: (All must demonstrate a Career Connection)
1. Community Service: Nursing homes, police departments, libraries, recreation department, parks department, hospitals, houses of worship, and any other not for profit organization in the area.
2. Internship: Local merchants, accountants, law offices, schools within the district, banks (financial institutions), restaurants, and other local business and organizations.
3. The self-directed component would involve the students engaging in a project of their own interest. It could be in the form of a written paper, final product, activity, demonstration, etc.
RULES, EXPECTATIONS, AND PROCEDURES:
1. Student applications must provide the following information: project description/proposal, project goals, project location, methods of achieving goals, rationale for selecting this option and project. The quality of the application is a significant consideration.
2. Students must work 25 hours a week with a minimum of 4 hours a day. This does not include lunch.
3. A maximum of two absences will be permitted from the program regardless of the nature. Any more than two absences will result in expulsion from the program and a return to traditional classroom activity. Students must inform Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School and their community resource when absent.
4. Students will be required to attend meetings, which will give the school an opportunity to inform students of any upcoming events. These meetings will also serve as an opportunity for students to report on the progress of their program.
5. Students are required to maintain a journal of daily activities related to the achievement of project goals. The journal must be turned when required.
6. Students will undergo continuous monitoring. This monitoring will consist of evaluation of student journals, employer evaluations of students, random on-site checks, and random telephone checks. The following criteria will be the basis for the evaluation/monitoring: attendance, tardiness, attitude, cooperation, attainment of goals, and quality of work.
7. Students will be required to sign a contract containing the expectations of the program.
8. The principal must approve all exceptions to the above rules and expectations.
9. Students planning to serve in an educational internship at the high school must be enrolled in the Tomorrow’s Teachers Course. Tomorrow’s Teachers’ students may not serve their internship with a faculty member who was a former teacher of theirs. Students not enrolled in Tomorrow’s Teachers and serving an educational internship at the elementary or middle school must demonstrate a commitment to the profession via the application. All mentors will be assigned.
1. The final evaluation will be in the form of a student presentation/demonstration. The presentation will summarize and highlight the experience and serve as closure to the project. The student will be evaluated on the presentation.
1. Students who are accepted into this program will be exempt from any final exam should they be in good academic standing. Students will also be excused from some or all classes depending on the length of day they are approved for the project.
2. Students that are expelled from the program will be required to make up missed work from their traditional classes at the teachers’ convenience. This could jeopardize the student’s ability to graduate.
3. Students involved in co-curricular and extra-curricular (sports) activities will still be eligible to participate.
4. It is the students’ responsibility to keep informed of all upcoming activities. Most of this information will be conveyed through meetings and postings on the district website-high school page.
5. It is the students’ responsibility to provide their own transportation to and from their Senior Project location. Students may drive their own vehicle (automobile) or be driven by a parent to the workplace. The principal must approve any other means of transportation.
6. If the student is received a grade of a “D” or lower in any class/marking period, they will not be eligible to participate in the program.
Q- How do I apply for the Senior Project?
A- The first step is to meet the project requirements and complete an application which demonstrates a career connection between your aspirations and/or college major, and the activity described in the proposal. You will be asked to answer a series of questions in writing. The completed information must be received by the stated deadline. Late submissions are not accepted. Deadlines are posted above and in the Main Office.
Q- What is the process of finding a mentor?
A- The process of finding a person to serve as a mentor is the responsibility of the student. Students are required to make the necessary contacts and list the information on the proposal. All of the information regarding the mentor must be completed.
Q- Would I be permitted to serve my Senior Project in a location where I have worked or attended?
A- No. The experience must take place in a location where there are no connections. This would include working in an environment where family members are involved / employed.
Q- If my proposal is accepted, does that mean I will be participating in the Senior Project?
A- No. This would move your project on to Phase II of the application process. You would then need to write a research paper, which answers the relevant questions associated with the experience.
Q- How important is Phase II of the application process?
A- It is very important. As with the proposal, the student must meet the proper deadlines and write a paper that meets all of the requirements including the use of MLA format, citations, and other components. Failure to meet any of the criteria will result in the student being denied participation.
Q- If I am accepted into the Senior Project, will I be exempt from final exams?
This will depend on a number variables. Those seniors enrolled in the Tomorrow’s Teachers course will be exempt from all final exams assuming they are in good academic standing. The same holds true for students opting for the Senior Project. Students must have a grade ranging from A to B-. Exceptions will be reviewed by the principal.
Q- Must all of the experiences demonstrate a career connection?
A- Yes. Whether the experience is an internship, community service, self-directed, or any other type of experience, it must positively correlate with career plans/college major.
Q- If I am not enrolled in the Tomorrow’s Teachers course, can I complete my internship with a teacher.
A- Yes. But the experience cannot be at SPFHS.
Q- Will my senior project last for an entire day?
A- Not necessarily. In some cases, students will be offered a ½ day senior project. The principal makes this determination after consulting with a faculty committee.
Q- How are important are the deadlines?
A- The deadlines are very important. Failure to meet the deadlines will remove you from the process.
Q- What if I am absent on the day of a deadline?
A- You will need to find someone to submit your application on your behalf. It is required that forms are submitted prior to the deadline.
Q- When will I be notified of the status of my application?
A- All applicants can expect to learn the status of their application by the end of February.