CLASS OF 2016 GRADUATION successful graduation project. They should keep this booklet in a safe...
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Huntingdon Area High School
CLASS OF 2016
A Showcase of Student Achievement
Name: ___________________________________ Homeroom: ______________
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Dear Parents/Guardians of Juniors:
The Pennsylvania Department of Education requires high school students to complete a graduation
project in order to earn a diploma. This handbook will guide students through the process of completing a
successful graduation project. They should keep this booklet in a safe place. Details, such as “frequently asked
questions,” deadlines, etc. are included in the rest of the booklet. Of utmost importance…..the graduation
project is a graduation requirement. Students who do not complete a project cannot receive a diploma.
Also, students who do not meet established deadlines may not be able to walk in the graduation
ceremony. Students who follow the guidelines and meet all necessary deadlines will easily complete the
project and have a good experience doing so. A brief outline of the project process is as follows:
#1 Choose a project, one that reflects community service or a possible career choice.
#2 Choose an advisor for the project. The advisor will help with the hands-on portion of the project (see
below). The advisor MUST be a Huntingdon Area High School faculty member. Students earn grades
every marking period as a sign of their progress, and only faculty members can enter grades into our grading
#3 Complete a Research Paper. The research paper is completed during the junior year in English class
under the guidance and direction of the English teacher. Students will need to use specific skills, such as
research, organization and time management, to produce a typed document of five, or more, pages. While the
paper is to be a mixture of the writer’s own words, quotes, and paraphrases, students are reminded that
direct quotes are used in support of statements they have written in the paper. Only one long quote of
more than five (5) lines may be used in the paper and must be pre-approved by the English teacher. All
other direct quotes – those of less than five (5) lines – must also be pre-approved by the English teacher.
Approval is to insure the appropriate and proper use of direct quotations in a research paper.
#4 Summer Storage of Research Papers. Students will be given the choice of keeping their research
papers over the summer or having the Guidance Office keep them in storage.
#5 Complete a Hands-On Project. A related hands-on project will be done during the senior year under
the guidance of the hands-on project advisor. The hands-on project is an experience or product related to some
aspect of the research topic. The hands-on project requires a minimum of 25 hours of the student’s time outside
of the school day. Work done to prepare for the symposium or the panel presentation cannot count in the 25+
hours. NOTE: Work on the hands-on project may not start until the day after commencement exercises
UNLESS a student has been given prior approval by the high school principal, i.e. at the time of the
printing of this packet, that means the work on the hands-on project for the Class of 2016 could not start
until June 3, 2015, the day after the Class of 2015 graduates.
#6 Create a Portfolio. Details on the portfolio requirements are on page 8 of this packet.
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#7 Oral Presentation. As the last component, students will give a 5 to 7 minute oral presentation
explaining the hands-on project and learning that occurred in completing it and the research involved. This is
done at our annual “Senior Symposium” before a team of evaluators. Students also have the option of
choosing to give their presentation privately before evaluators; this is known as a “Panel Presentation.”
Panel presentations should be 5 to 20 minutes in length.
Important Points to Remember:
One of the objectives of the graduation project is to teach students to prioritize their time. During the completion of the research paper in the junior year, due dates are established by the English teacher.
The paper can be done any part of the school year. The research paper will be graded as part of the
English class grade as well as for the Graduation Project.
The graduation project paper must be passed by Friday, May 15, 2015. Turning in the paper that day will NOT change grades given during the 3rd and 4th marking periods for work not completed
Turning in the graduation project paper on or after May 15, 2015 will result in the paper being sent to the guidance office and will mean the student will have to complete any
corrections/revisions under professional supervision in summer school during the summer
between the junior and senior years if a student wishes to graduate on time with his/her class.
Summer school fees apply and are the responsibility of the student.
A successful graduation project involves parent and teacher support as well as student initiative and self-
discipline. We hope you will become involved with your son or daughter in this endeavor. If we all work
together, this will be one of the most rewarding experiences the student will have at HAHS. If you have any
questions, please call the Guidance Office at 641-2156.
Also, a copy of this packet is available on the district’s website. If at any time you need another copy, or
would like to print out certain pages of the packet, follow these instructions:
From your website browser, type: www.huntsd.org
Once on the district’s site, click on “Schools” and then click on “High School.”
You should now be on the high school’s main page. On the left-hand side, look for the icon that says
“Graduation Project 15-16”. Click on that icon and you will be taken to a file containing this packet.
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TIMELINE AND CHECKLIST
FOR GRADUATION PROJECT
Students begin working on their research papers in English class.
The following should be turned in to one’s English teacher on due dates to be set by him/her (due dates
can be before, but not later than, the last day of the marking period):
Appendix A (Area of Interest/Choice of Advisor)
Conduct research for the paper, under the guidance of your English teacher.
Final Research Paper, including title page, outline, and reference page turned in to one’s English teacher
on a due date to be set by him/her (but must be passed by Friday, May 15, 2015, meaning you must
turn it in BEFORE this date in order to give the teacher time to review it):
Appendix B (Research Paper Evaluation Form)
Note: Students and parents/ guardians should remember that the English teachers have the discretion to
incorporate the writing of the graduation project paper into their classes as they so desire. A teacher is
free to complete the work any part of the school year. A teacher is free to assign points/grades as
he/she chooses in accordance with his/her classroom grading style as well as the district’s grading
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First and Second Marking Periods Senior year:
Hands-on project – 25 hours minimum (Cannot begin counting hours until after the graduation
date of the previous class):
Appendix C (Project Log)
As you work on your hands-on project, remember:
To log all time and activities. You must complete a MINIMUM of 25 hours on the hands- on project. This must be done outside of the school day and does not include time spent
consulting with your hands-on advisor. You also CANNOT include the time you use to
get ready for symposium, such as making your poster board. You are encouraged to
show evidence of working with a professional or someone who works directly in the
field. This person would be your mentor.
Appendix D (Student Self-Evaluation)
Should be completed and handed-in to the student’s project advisor.
Third and Fourth Marking Periods Senior year:
Hands-on project ready for either Symposium or Panel Presentation
Graduation Paper and Project Portfolio, including final copy of the research paper, rough drafts, note cards, etc., due for either Symposium or Panel Presentation
High School Portfolio, including resume, career portfolio* and Appendix E, due for either Symposium or Panel Presentation
Symposium: Date to be announced – Usually the end of May 2016
Panel Presentation: Date to be announced – Usually the week after symposium
*The career portfolio requires the completion of a career interest inventory on an internet website. See
the next page for details regarding this requirement. Treat this portion as an “assignment.” You will
independently complete it here at school in the Writing Lab, or do