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BUHS official: Do away with senior project

May 20, 2002|By DARREN SIMON

Staff Writer

BRAWLEY — A trustee of the Brawley Union High School District is calling into question the senior project as a graduation requirement, stating it is time to do away with the policy.

Trustee Helen Noriega has placed on the agenda for Wednesday's board meeting a discussion item on the senior project.

The meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. at the high school in the board conference room. The item is for discussion only, which means the board cannot take action on the matter.

The discussion is aptly timed as seniors are moving through their projects as they prepare for graduation. Those who do not complete the project run the risk of not taking part in the high school's graduation ceremony.


Noriega said she thinks that is wrong and she wants to see the senior projects nixed as a requirement for graduating.

Superintendent Garth Isom said this morning he and his administration disagree. He pointed out that Noriega is only one board member and it would take a majority vote to do away with the projects.

Noriega said she wants to see discussion start and the board take action on her request during its first meeting in June.

Noriega said she has specific goals.

First, she wants to remove the senior project as a graduation requirement. Then she wants to see the senior project become a junior project to reduce pressure on seniors, who already have "so much on their plate" as they work toward finishing high school.

Isom said the senior projects are meant "to be the capstone for graduating seniors to show their research and writing skills; to accomplish a hands-on project while demonstrating their oral skills with the exit presentation."

During the 1993-94 academic year Brawley Union High became the second high school in the Imperial Valley to implement the senior projects as a graduation requirement. Calexico was the first, having started its senior project program during the 1992-93 academic year.

Other high schools in the Valley have not implemented senior projects as graduation requirements. Such projects are not required by the state.

As part of the senior project in Brawley, a student selects a mentor at the beginning of the year to guide the student through the project. That mentor can be a member of the school staff or a professional in a field related to subject of the student's report.

By the end of the year the students must complete a research paper and give an oral presentation as part of their project.

Isom said the project is important to prepare students for the challenges they will face after they graduate.

He also said the senior project is fair in that no matter what a student's grade-point average is, if the student does not finish the senior project he or she does not fulfill all their graduation requirements and does not take part in the graduation ceremony.

He said there is an appeal process for students found ineligible to take part in the graduation ceremony as a result of the senior project.

>> Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

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