Summer Capstone Consortium--June 20
Today was filled with information and inspiration. Some of the schools who are attending the Summit have had on-going Capstone programs for 25 years (Boston Latin, Thacher), while others are just beginning to think about the possibilities (Sequoyah, Stamford,CT public). Of course, all schools are different, and their goals, values and missions are different, but everyone seemed interested in learning and sharing their thoughts and ideas with everyone else. The questioning ("What are some rituals of your school that could be folded into your Capstone program?" "How does the program address your school's mission?" "How do you go about achieving buy-in from the students and the broader school community?") required thought and exploration. And some of the obstacles that were offered up were extraordinary challenges. For example, the state of Connecticut has mandated that all of the public high schools include a capstone component complete with documented research, reading, writing, and presentations. To do this for a class of 500 seems an insurmountable task, however, we all sat around a table and tried to brainstorm solutions.
One of my most pressing questions while I am here is to discover how to bring more buy-in to the Odyssey Program. How do we convince students, parents and teachers that two full years of exploring a passion will give them the same leg up in the college selection process as taking traditional classes and following the traditional path. Since we don't offer AP courses, what makes Odyssey Scholars competitive with AP scholars?