Editor’s Note: Content used in this article was provided by Assistant Superintendent Amy Berdos’s Teaching and Learning Highlight recap from the Aug. 26 meeting of the Foxboro School Committee.
This year, seniors at Foxboro High School will get a chance to try something different during their final term before graduating.
At this week’s school committee meeting, FHS principal Diana Myers-Pachla, Guidance Department Chair Laureen White, Math Department Chair Susan Carle and Social Studies Department Chair Tom Murray were present to propose the new opportunity for FHS seniors called Senior Project. The program is a student-selected, hands-on opportunity which affords seniors the chance to explore an area of interest while working with professionals in the community to gain “real-world” experience. The student initiated projects may result from a student’s passion or simply be an interest they wish to explore as part of their journey to being college and career ready.
“We have many students that get this ‘senioritis,’ this is another opportunity for them. They’re going to have these skills they are going to learn from April 1 to the end of the year,” Murray said.
Over the summer, the Department Chairs worked closely with School to Career Supervisor Ellen Pillsbury to research and develop the hands-on creative program for seniors. The program is a structured, deadline-oriented program that takes place outside the traditional classroom during school and is a way for students to give back to the community. As a participant of the program Foxborough seniors will learn using an interdisciplinary approach which allows them to gain a variety of skills including resourcefulness, independence and the ability to learn in a new setting. This fall interested seniors will be invited to attend informational meetings that will explain the program requirements and learn how they can create their own proposal for an extern project of interest to them.
Interested seniors can only take part in the program if all their teachers sign-off on the student’s participation. At the end of the third term, the student’s GPA will be final but they will receive a final grade for the project that will remain on their high school transcript and sent to their college.
Running the program for the first time, it is unknown how many students are going to participate but there is optimism over the participation rate.
“We won’t know if there are going to be four kids or 140 kids. We think some kids are going to want to do it. Other ones might start it and they may say it’s not for me and that’s ok too,” Murray said.
Superintendent Debra Spinelli was also unsure of enrollment numbers but was optimistic of the project in the longterm.
“We’re not sure of the first year because how many students will go into the unknown and apply. Once there is buzz we think we’ll see more kids apply,” Spinelli said.
The committee is expected to get an update on the program closer to the start date next year.