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Day School Redesigns Senior Projects during Social Distancing

The COVID-19 outbreak may have dismissed traditional classroom learning for the class of 2020, but opportunities like the capstone Senior Project at Evansville Day School do not have to be canceled, just reimagined. Last week, Day School introduced the “EDS Class of 2020 Pandemic Adulting Senior Project” to the senior class, a revision of the traditional Senior Project completed annually by graduates. Typically, EDS seniors are given two weeks to shadow local professionals in a field they plan to study in college and present what they learn as part of their final grade. With many local businesses closed or operating with heightened protocols, this became an impossibility for the class of 2020. The redesigned version of the project will require each student to complete ten “adulting” activities, that fit within the parameters of social distancing, to prepare them for their next phase of life. The activities are themed to reflect Evansville Day School’s Portrait of a Graduate pillars: entrepreneurial learning, global-mindedness, resilience, and balance. Students choose from a list of activities, such as: 

  • Setting up a new bank account

  • Interviewing the person each student was going to shadow

  • Reading three online, foreign newspapers and analyzing the effects of COVID-19 overseas

  • Trying something new and failing their way to success

  • Making a meal plan and preparing the grocery list for their families for a week 

The seniors are required to document themselves doing these activities, and will prepare a digital VoiceThread presentation by May 13 that will be open to the community, complete with videos, pictures, and screenshots.   

“We wanted to strip the senior project back into what we thought would provide the best bones for real adulthood for the senior class, as we all are figuring it out as we go,” says Corrie Sarol, Director of College Counseling. “The revised senior project is meant to give students an opportunity to dip their feet into adulthood through the lens of the [Day School] Portrait of a Graduate, the qualities we hope to see in our grads as we send them out into the world.”

Senior Aidan Kunst appreciates the effort that teachers have made to salvage an exciting milestone: “The Senior Project is something that is an awesome experience and a unique one at Day School, and I think the faculty has done a great job preparing an alternative, said Kunst. “With the new project, my classmates and I will be able to learn several lessons that will help prepare us for college and beyond, and I’m excited to get started.”

EDS supports our seniors as they navigate this difficult time, and it hopes this revised project allows our students to understand the importance of balance and active problem solving in all they do as they figure things out on their own. 

Evansville Day School’s unique educational experience as the area’s only independent school allows our students and faculty to participate in opportunities inspiring balanced, resilient, globally minded, entrepreneurial learners who will be the innovators of the future.