How do graduuation projects get approved?

Fisher Bond ’22 and Peter Kaplan ’22 work on the Spring sports’ mural in the
Community Room- Pierce Laveran ’24.

As the end of the school year approaches, Sixth Formers begin to disappear from Wilson Hall classrooms to complete their last requirement: graduation projects.

Every year, they undergo an extensive application process to leave school for the last three weeks of their high school careers. Projects can take almost any shape or form—maybe a student wants to get a head start on their prospective career; perhaps they take on an internship at a company. Other examples include service projects or creative projects, such as taking a course on becoming an Emergency Medical Technician or becoming a volunteer firefighter. 

Right before winter break, Sixth Formers submitted their first proposals to a committee of teachers. These proposals are just ideas—details are malleable and nothing is confirmed. The committee, after discussing, assigned each idea to one of three categories: green, yellow, and red. Sixth Form Deam Mr. Tim Lengel leads the committee.

“Green projects have conditional approval, meaning that this looks like it will probably be approved, so lock down details about who’s supervising you, or how long you will be working, or that kind of thing,” Mr. Timothy Lengel said. 

“Yellow needs revision. It could be good, but we need more details,” Mr. Lengel said. “Red, or denied, means that it’s simply not a graduation project.” 

More often than not, projects get “red” because they do not take enough time to complete. 

After their first proposal, students have around a month to submit their final application, which is due later in February. 

According to Mr. Lengel, the best projects are ones that speak to the student. 

By Spring Break, everyone knows what they are doing. And by May 12, Sixth Formers take their last day of class before leaving to work on their projects until June 6, before Commencement on June 9.