Re: DSM: Re: Diploma question

Date: Sat Jan 19 2002 - 20:17:16 EST

Hi Karen--

Sorry about the long delay in answering you. I didn't have time to check my
email until now.

Fairhaven's newest graduation procedure isn't finalized, but will probably
have a graduation committee of both staff and students to provide any help
requested. There's also a declaration of intent to graduate presented at
School Meeting, at which the candidate's thoughts, plans, etc. are discussed
by students and staff, and, of course, there's the graduation itself, at
which students are present, out in force to support their friends.

The Sudbury Valley procedure, which I participated in as both staff and
parent of a graduate at Evergreen (and liked a lot), involved students all
along the way. Students could volunteer to be on the Critique Committee, and
wrote critiques of the first drafts of candidates' thesis presentations. And
of course there were endless conversations between friends before the
presentations were written--"I don't know what to say about my first year
when I got written up so much," "Do you think I should put in my volunteer
activities?" etc. The critiques were often along the lines of, "You never
mentioned how you helped that depressed student," or "You're sounding way too
modest," or, in the case of one student's critiques, "You didn't put in
enough about me."

The process of reviewing their life at the school, reviving old memories, and
thinking about what they'd done (or wish they'd done--or hadn't done) and
realizing what a long way they'd come, was almost always accomplished with at
least a little help from their friends.



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