ESD committee to recommend senior project be eliminated


By Nick Fiorillo

The Edmonds School District Senior Project Committee decided to recommend the senior project be eliminated as a graduation requirement beginning with the class of 2015.

In the committee’s sixth meeting, held at Edmonds Woodway H.S. Tuesday afternoon, high school staff and administrators along with district officials discussed the results of a survey that was released to gather opinions from the ESD community.

Assistant Superintendent Patrick Murphy, committee chair, will make the recommendation to the School Board next Tuesday, June 10. It’s unclear if the School Board will make its decision at that meeting.

Assistant Principal Dan Falk and Career Specialist Barb Brister represented MTHS as members of the Senior Project Committee.

The ESD released a survey on the online site, asking parents, staff and students of the four high schools to vote whether they wanted to “keep,” “eliminate,” or “modify” the senior project.

Committee members reviewed the survey data at Tuesday’s meeting. After nearly 4000 survey entries were submitted, the committee found that 75 percent of responders voted to eliminate the senior project, while 14 percent voted to keep it and 10 percent voted to modify it.

Survey takers were not required to prove their identity or sign in using an account. Committee members said in the meeting that they realized the survey was not “scientific.”

However, in the meeting, Murphy said the committee did use the survey data to come to its decision.

Some committee members also said in the meeting that they felt obligated to remove the senior project requirement given the overwhelming amount of responses calling for the project’s termination. However, others expressed concerns over the validity, sincerity and accuracy of the survey.

The members of the committee also looked at the comments section of the survey, noting that many parents and students voted to eliminate the senior project requirement because of the stress load that accompanies a student’s senior year in high school.

The changes to the senior project requirement comes after the Washington State Legislature voted earlier this year to eliminate the statewide senior project requirement for graduation. The decision was left up to the individual school districts to determine the fate of the senior project.

The senior project was first introduced at MTHS in 1993, when it was piloted with a small group of students. It became a requirement beginning in the 1995-1996 school year.

The Hawkeye will bring you more information as this story develops. 

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