Hi. I’m Marla. Gimme a Minute. No really, I’m only going to take a minute of your time. I want to talk to you about the senior Culminating project.
If you have had a kid in k-12 in Whatcom county in the last five years you have probably heard of this. Every graduating high school senior has to complete one.
In my humble opinion, I believe the project is great. Conceptually.
The problem is the human element breakdown. Some Kids hate the project before they start, and then they procrastinate. Mentors, both staff and community, don’t see the potential value of the project designed by the student, and so instead of mentoring, there can be more manipulating until the student doesn’t even recognize it as their own, and loses whatever passion they might have had. Students who need more guidance are ignored, and are at high risk to not complete their projects at all. Equals no diploma. That is a huge deal.
I am speaking from experience having been a community panelist, a project mentor, a parent of a senior, and friend of a parent whose kid still does not have a diploma because the 20 hour requirement of the culminating project was not accurately documented.
Let’s fix it. Let’s not let another kid’s potential be destroyed because they slipped through the cracks. If you are in high school, accept the fact you need to do this project, and take it seriously. If you commit to being a community mentor, don’t quit on your student. If you are a staff mentor, don’t sabotage spirit and passion.
Everyone involved will get more out of the project. Instead of it being a burden and just another forgotten assignment, it will be something all of us involved in can be proud of for years to come.
I’m Marla. Thanks for listening. See ya.