The Senior Celebration is a graduation requirement that is pretty unique to the Hudson Community School District. For those of you unfamiliar with the requirement, each spring our seniors have to demonstrate to a panel of judges that they have met the learner performance goals identified by the school district, and provide examples. This project is taken very seriously, and students must pass this 'exam' before graduating. Believe me, this is not a hoop that students jump through on the way to the graduation stage. Not all students satisfactorily complete this requirement, in which case they have to make an improvement and present again-this time to the Board of Directors.
Our high school students begin to be coached on this requirement when they enter the high school as freshmen. During seminar time they are advised on the different aspects of the assignment, what to expect, and how to prepare for the presentation. At the conclusion of each year students have an opportunity to reflect on their progress and begin formulating answers to such questions as, "This is how I have become a collaborative worker", or "while in high school, this is how I have been a contributing citizen". There are seven such learner performance goals that the students must demonstrate competency in by graduation.
During senior year, students are developing portfolios, gathering artifacts, and preparing a presentation for a panel of judges, who may or may not be known to the student. Each student is given a half hour to make their case. Most students will give about a fifteen minute presentation, which is then followed by the judges asking clarifying questions or asking for additional examples. Final questions from the panel may range from asking what the student is planning on doing with their life, to where they are going to college, and how did they pick that particular institution. Intimidating? You bet.
Our Senior Celebrations were held at Hudson last night and I had the opportunity to sit in on four of these presentations, and I can say that I was very impressed with not only the quality of the presentations, but how thoughtful our students were in their work.
As we begin the process of wrapping up the school year (by my count our seniors have just 10 short days), I want to say thanks so much to our Senior Class! You have been outstanding leaders of our student body this year and have made us all so very proud!