By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Tupelo High School senior projects will become collaborative efforts this year.
Instead of every student working individually, seniors will be assigned to four-person groups. The projects will have a community-service theme, and the hope is their impact will be greater.
“One reason is that we saw a lot of redundancy in the projects and wanted to give it new life,” said Tupelo High School English 4 teacher April Friar.
Having students work in groups will make the projects more manageable as the school switches to a block schedule from a traditional one, Friar said. In past years, all of the seniors presented their projects during a Culmination Day celebration in the spring. This year, they’ll need to have two such events because some students will take English 4 from August until December and others will do so from January until May.
Under a block schedule, classes reset every semester.
“It is still the senior project, we just tweaked it,” said Principal Jason Harris. “The same foundation is still there.”
Students will still do research, make a presentation, write a paper and create a product that will impact the community.
Senior English teacher Kelly Manley said several non-profit organizations have contacted the school to say they would be glad to work with students on the project and that others are welcome to do so.
“I’m most excited about the community involvement and having them see the world is about something bigger than them,” said senior English teacher Kama Alford.
Community viewing of the projects will be Dec. 6 and May 2 in the Tupelo High School gymnasium.
The events will be in the evening so people can attend after work. Students will no longer present their work to a team of community evaluators, as they did in years past, but attendees will be able to fill out forms rating the projects they see. Those ratings will have an impact on the final grade.
Students will each have an individual topic that analyzes an aspect of their group’s topic. Most of their grades will be individualized, Friar said.