Monday, June 1, 2009


Faculty Advisor Andrea Alsup writes: The Senior Bridges Interdisciplinary Project is an opportunity for second semester seniors to work on an intensive project of their own choosing. Seniors are invited to engage in independent study projects in any subject area(s) extending beyond the boundaries of our current curriculum. Although projects can be in any area of student interest, each will require that the student research the topic, work with a community mentor, write a substantial amount, create a tangible project illustrating what was learned/accomplished, and prepare a presentation about the topic for a class or panel of community members, students, and teachers. Credit areas and course hour commitments will be determined on an individual basis, depending upon the scope of the project as defined by students in their application forms.

Please call Andrea Alsup, English teacher and Bridges advisor:
at Hanover High: 603-643-3431 x2201
at home: 802-222-3372

Click "read more" for the details.

The process:

Senior Bridges Project at Hanover High involves three phases and many skills:

The Paper: Acquisition of knowledge. The student learns about a topic by observing, researching, interviewing and writing.

The Project: Application of knowledge. With the help of a community mentor and a teacher-advisor, the student participates in a project—resulting in a tangible product or an experience, or both.

The Presentation: Synthesis of knowledge. The student presents findings to an HHS class or to a panel consisting of the community members, teachers, and students.

Why do it?

Senior Bridges offers graduating seniors several educational possibilities:

1. An opportunity to design and pursue their own courses of study for a range of 1-5 semester credits.

2. An opportunity to practice independent study—scheduling and time management-with an advisor.

3. An opportunity to work with a community mentor/expert.

What else?

As well as allowing students to design what, where, when and how they study in the last semester of their senior years, Bridges allows students to demonstrate mastery of the skills a graduating senior should have:

1. To gather and analyze information

2. To speak and write clearly

3. To make connections among past, present, and future events

4. To solve problems

5. To work cooperatively

6. To transfer skills between one discipline and another

Email address:__________________



1. What is your topic? Try to define it in a few sentences.

2. Have you identified a potential community mentor? If so, who? Have you met?

3. In what ways might your project be connected to career possibilities for you?

4. What do you already know about the topic? How will it constitute new learning for you?

5. What are the primary questions you hope to answer? (What do you want to learn?)

6. What kinds of research (people, media, print) will you need?
(Bibliography here)

7. What kind of writing would result from your research? For example:

*A traditional research paper proving a thesis: “The Abstract artists of the fifties owe more to scientific breakthroughs of the 19th century than to the artistic ones.” OR
*A report with graphics and annotated bibliography” “The design and building of the Ledyard Bridge.” OR
*A reflective account of your project: what happened, what you learned, what new questions are now raised for you: “A month working with terminally ill children.” OR
*Another form designed by you, to fit your needs.

8. What is your project? Try to define what you hope to achieve in a few sentences.

9. How are writing and project related?

10. Will it cost money? How much? (If community service is involved, some scholarship funding may be available).

11. Will your project involve other students? If so, how?


12. What preliminary ideas do you have for your final presentation?


13. Topics and projects will be considered on an individual basis, but if you are requesting a semester credit, bear in mind that one hundred and twenty hours of instructional time are necessary for a one semester course, and plan research, writing, and project accordingly. How much time do you estimate you will spend on each segment?

14. How much (e.g. .5 fine arts or .5 English) and what kind of credit are you requesting?

15. Are you requesting release time from classes? Explain:

Please answer these questions and then review them with A. Alsup. Thanks.

Bridges Timeline:

A. September-end Oct: meetings with Ms. Alsup in Room 103 to discuss your project ideas, write and revise proposals.

B. December 15: A written proposal following guidelines given you by Ms. Alsup will be due. You should have a community mentor at this time. Mentor agreement form due.

C. Before holiday break: Your proposal will be reviewed by a representative of each department.

D. January after finals: Begin assembling resources (written, living, electronic).

E. End of January: Party/meetings with community mentors and oral presentation panel members.

F. February: Research/project conferences with Ms. Alsup. Must have calendars and documentation from mentor.

G. March: Research/project conferences with Ms. Alsup. Must have calendars and documentation from mentor.

H. April 1: Q3 Mentor and self-evaluations due, project checkpoint due.

I. May 13: Drafts of papers due. Continue meetings.

J. May 20: Projects complete. Continue meetings.

K. May 23-27: Oral presentation practice with Ms. Alsup and other seniors in project. Continue meetings.

L. May 31: Senior Bridges portfolio (documentation of project, log, final paper, mentor evals. photos, notebooks) due. Continue meetings.

M. May 31-June 3: Oral presentations (20 min. present, 10 min. questions) to school and/or community audience; review of portfolios by Steering Committee.

Deadlines and all meetings are critical. You must meet them or lose credit.


The role of the mentor:

Because every student proposal is different, the role of each mentor will be different.

We do ask that you all observe a few guidelines:

1. Have an initial meeting with your student to review proposals and suggest resources for independent study: people, places, and media.

2. Plan a minimum of four meetings between February and mid-May to answer questions, review papers and projects, and discuss progress in general. Andrea Alsup will be the in-school advisor for the student; we will plan meetings to alternate with mentor meetings.

3. Attend the student’s final presentation (about one half hour, in a class or after school during the week after Memorial Day). If it isn’t possible for you to attend your student’s final presentation, please let your student know as soon as possible. We will ask you to help evaluate the presentation with others- -students, teachers, and community members.

4. Write a mid-semester progress report by April 1 and a final evaluation after the oral presentation.

Please see evaluation forms in the Senior Bridges project handbook. Your student will provide you with stamped, addressed envelopes for mailing.

If you have problems or questions, please call Andrea Alsup:
at Hanover High: 603-643-3431 x2201
at home: 802-222-3372

Thank you very much for your interest in our students.