5-6 – Graduation
An Upward Transition: the 5th & 6th grade marks the transition between the lower elementary school and middle school. 5th grade is the year where students learn leadership, social, mediation and academic skills that they demonstrate in 6th grade as they prepare for elementary school graduation.
The culminating activity of the upper elementary school experience is the Graduation Project. 6th grade graduates choose a topic of interest, write a proposal, and present an overview of their plan to the 5th grade class. Besides serving as mentors to 5th graders who perform an abbreviated version of the projects on a topic related to their mentor’s, graduates must complete four academic stages and several other tasks in preparation for graduation. The Stage 1 paper includes an overview of the project along with background and historical information. The Stage 2 paper is the main research paper covering the student’s primary focusing questions. As a documented experience related to the project is also a required part of the project, the Stage 3 paper describes and reflects upon this experience, hopefully connecting it to the previous research as well. During Stage 4, graduates summarize their work and conclude the written component of the project. Parents and the community are invited to attend the final celebration, each graduate’s formal presentation. This is the final rite of passage before we present our upper elementary graduates to the middle school.