Since Loudoun County students no longer have exam requirements, senior projects will now take the place of a year-end summative assessment. Senior council members and Woodgrove administrators have spent months planning this new initiative.
The hope is that the projects will be used as a way for the graduating seniors to enjoy their last few weeks at Woodgrove, while making a difference and a lasting impression on the school.
Senior Will Greer is glad to have the opportunity to participate in senior projects. He said, “I am glad to be giving back to the community that provided me with this education.”
There are several options for senior projects which encompass the broad range of interests of the senior class. The options are bench building, land beautification, media coverage, outdoor classroom building, food recovery, and mural painting.
The ‘bench group’ will be building 15 benches with the help of the Tech Ed department. They will also decorate the benches and place them throughout the Woodgrove campus. Tech Ed teacher Mr. John Jose is the sponsor for this project.
According to a project member, Evan Babcock, “Making the benches is hard work, but it pays off.”
The land beautification team will be planting trees, flowers, and other plants in order to make the Woodgrove campus more visually appealing. Mrs. Marty Potts is the teacher who heads this project, and she has arranged for a professional landscape architect from Epling, Inc, to help the students with the plans.
“I think senior projects are a good idea, and I am looking forward to beautifying our campus,” said senior Emma Gillies, a member of the landscape beautification project.
The media team will be taking photos and videos of all of the senior project events, and they will write up news briefs featuring all of the work that is being done for the school. The sponsors for the media project are Woodgrove’s library assistant, Mrs.Carolynn Hawthorne, and publications advisers, Mrs. Lea Longerbeam and Mrs. Tammy Pyle.
Mrs. Hawthorne said, “I think the senior projects are a great initiative. I like the fact that the projects are student driven, and I am impressed with how everyone has come together to do this.”
The outdoor classroom construction project, under the leadership of Mr.Scott Fortney, a science teacher, involves building an amphitheater-type structure and kiosk with a roof so that a whiteboard can be attached for students to take their learning experience outdoors. The outdoor classroom was started several years ago, but little progress was made, and the hope is for the project to come to fruition by the end of the year.
Project member Jordan Bartel is looking forward to working on the project. “It is great for students to be able to enrich their learning experience in nature,” he said.
The food recovery team, under the leadership of Mrs.Pam Hayba, the community liaison, and cafeteria manager, Mrs. Genelda Bartling, will be collecting food and other household supplies for needy families. The Woodgrove community can donate items to bins placed around the school. The food will be donated to local families, and the group will also prepare packages of supplies to send home with needy students over the summer.
“Although we live in a wealthy area, there are still people in Loudoun County that are in need, and it is fulfilling to give back to the community,” said food recovery member Meaghan Flynn.
The muralist team will be painting various murals throughout the school, with art teachers Mr. Shawn Grove and Mr.Geoff Demark as sponsors. Several departments within the school have requested murals in their respective hallways, encouraging inter-departmental participation.
Muralist project sponsor Mr. Demark said, “The projects are a great thing. I have enjoyed that it involves a lot of teachers, and that there is a lot of interest. Getting more art into other parts of the building is great.”
According to Aidan Bruecken, a member of the muralist project, “The projects are a good thing because it encourages seniors to overcome their ‘senioritis’ and improve our campus to make a lasting impression.”
Staff, as well as students, expressed interest and excitement over the senior projects and are excited to see how the seniors’ work will change Woodgrove for the better.
Principal Sam Shipp said, “This is an exciting idea, and it is a great way for students to give back to Woodgrove before they go off on the next step of their journey.”
The success and participation of the projects this year will influence whether or not Woodgrove administration decides to have senior projects again next year.
Participation in senior projects will allow students to leave at the time usually designated for early release students. Similar to when exams were in place, seniors must meet certain requirements in order to be able to participate in the senior project, or else they will be required to attend their regular classes.
The requirements are:
A student must have at least a 70 (C-) average for the second semester through the first 8 weeks of the fourth nine week grading period.
Cheating and any other integrity violation that results in disciplinary action removes the student from consideration for end of year summative assessment exemption in all classes.
A student can be absent no more than two class periods in block classes.
Classes missed due to organized school activities such as field trips do not count as absences.
Classes missed due to observance of a religious holiday will not count as an absence..
All other non-school related absences (excused or unexcused) will be counted as absences, which includes in-school restriction and suspension.
In circumstances of legitimate late arrivals and early dismissals, a student will be counted as present if the student attends class for at least half of the block.