Current 7th and 8th Graders: Please see the CP Guidelines for fundraising/PR here.
Please review the goals and timeline for the Culminating Projects for both 7th and 8th grade here.
What is a Culminating Project? The PCCS Culminating Project (CP) is an extended Service Learning Project. Students spend 2 years working on a project of their choosing. Through work on the CP, students will address two main questions:
Students will identify an environmental issue – a problem that they want to address – and a project – a specific action that they will take that will help fix the issue they identified.
Tasks and timeline for CP:
Field hours — service hours that the students put forth, both during and outside of school hours, toward actually addressing their issue — are monitored in 5-hour increments. Ten hours must be completed by the end of 7th grade and an additional 25 hours by the end of 8th grade. In addition to completing the required number of hours, students must accomplish a goal that makes a difference to the community. Students, with adult advice, set their own goals — they decide what the outcome of their project will be and their hours are assessed based on their accomplishment of their own goals. Goals can be modified throughout the process if students set goals that are either unattainable or too easy.
Examples of past CPs:
Over the years, students have completed many varied projects that addressed different community needs and worked for different student personalities and preferences.
To address the issue of habitat loss, a pair of students built and installed bat boxes in their commmunity. (Other students have done bluebird boxes, wood duck boxes, owl nests, and animal-specific habitat restoration.)
|Parent Involvement in the CP:|
While it is important that the project be the student’s responsibility, we recognize that parents play an important role in the culminating projects. We welcome parents to share their contacts, their professional or personal skills, and their ideas with their students, as long as the students retain ownership of the projects. Parents have a voice in the CP approval process. This way, parents can monitor, early on, whether they will be asked to provide transportation, funds, or other resources toward their student’s project. These contributions are not required, and this is why we ask, up front, for parents to consent that they understand what their child’s project entails.
We ask that parents also monitor their student’s progress on the CP. This will be accomplished in 2 ways. First, students should have monthly check-in meetings with their parents. During these meetings, students and parents will discuss the progress made, stumbling blocks, issues and next steps. We will ask that parents provide a signature acknowledging that these monthly meetings have occurred. Second, updates of progress/missing assignments/grades will be posted on PowerSchool, and we ask that parents keep abreast of these postings.
|Mentor Involvement in the CP:|
Mentors act as a coach, providing knowledge, support, experience and encouragement to the group or individual. The mentor will act as a link between the students and the larger community, helping them connect with the world outside of school. We will try to match projects with mentors who have an expertise or interest in the topic of the project. Mentors will be asked to meet with their mentees at least once a month. Initially, the mentor should take the lead in setting up and guiding the direction of the meetings, but this responsibility should be transferred over to the students over the course of 7th grade.
Mentors will not write or re-write papers, nor will they (necessarily) accompany students to their service hour commitments. They are not required to make phone calls or emails on behalf of their mentees, though they may choose to initiate contacts that they students will then take over. They will not be involved in the grading of the papers, though teachers may approach them for feedback to keep tabs on the students’ progress.
Other Questions or Information
Please don’t hesitate to contact the 7th and 8th grade classroom teachers or Dean of Environmental Programs to ask additional questions about the CP process.
Naomi Hershiser, Dean of Environmental programs, nhershiser [at] pccharterschool [dot] org, or call the school office
Kerri Sustich, 7th grade, ksustich [at] pccharterschool [dot] org
Ben Haight, 7th grade, bhaight [at] pccharterschool [dot] org
Paul Habel, 8th grade, phabel [at] pccharterschool [dot] org
Heather Brozowski, 8th grade, hbrozowski [at] pccharterschool [dot] org