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Purpose of the Ferndale Secondary Honors Program

The Ferndale Public Schools Secondary Honors Program is a comprehensive and enriched experience designed for students in grades 9 through 12 who want to aim higher through a unique combination of academic, social and extracurricular opportunities.

The Secondary Honors Program seeks to engage and prepare students by: 

  • Emphasizing experiential learning through transforming experiences for students both in and out of the school building.
  • Challenging students to work independently while simultaneously learning to be part of a dynamic scholarly community.
  • Offering a range of experiences and opportunities designed to promote creative and critical thinking skills.
  • Creating real-world opportunities for students to engage in intellectually stimulating situations and further serve to build students’ college and life readiness.

Student Benefits 

  • Special recognition at graduation
  • College visits as a regular component of the program
  • SHP academic trips
  • Advanced development of college readiness skills
  • Small group and independent learning opportunities

Academic Components

A. Honors and/or Advanced Placement Courses

SHP students must be enrolled in two or more honors and/or Advanced Placement classes each semester. It is the students’ responsibility to confirm this with their counselor. At Ferndale High School, students must participate in the APID program and take at least 5 Advanced Placement classes throughout their high school career.

B. Extended Learning Opportunities

Each full calendar year that a student is a part of SHP, the student must complete a minimum of one extended learning opportunity that is approved by the program coordinator or committee.

For example: 

  • College course
  • Online coursework (Requires approval prior to enrollment)
  • Internship/Apprenticeship (Requires at least a 40-hour commitment)
  • Artistic, service-oriented, or academic camp (Requires at least 5 days attendance)

The SHP student may choose to complete this requirement during the summer or during the academic school year. Additionally the SHP student must have a Validation Form completed by a supervisor, counselor, or professor upon completion of the program. Students must choose a different extended learning opportunity each year.

C. Required Readings

Each summer SHP students will have a given reading assignment and prompt(s) to answer. Upon return to school in the fall, SHP students are expected to contribute to group discussions on the summer reading and assignment.

D. Honors Seminar

SHP students will attend honors seminar classes designed to enrich and expand student’s educational experience in FPS. SHP students must attend 75% of honors seminars each year to remain in the Secondary Honors Program.

E. Must Maintain an A or B in all Classes

SHP students must maintain all “A” and “B” grades in all of their classes. Failure to maintain those grades will result in a one semester academic probation. If a student’s grades do not improve to the A and B standard during their semester of academic probation, the student will be excused from the Secondary Honors Program.

F. National Honor Society

From their sophomore through senior years, SHP students must be a member of and remain in good standing in the National Honor Society. 

G. ACT Requirement

SHP students must take the ACT test or a monitored practice ACT before their junior year of high school.

H. Capstone Project

The capstone project is a multifaceted assignment that serves as a culminating academic and intellectual experience for students during their senior year of high school. Capstone projects can take a wide variety of forms, but most are long-term investigative projects that culminate in a final product, presentation, or performance. Students will be asked to select a topic, profession, or social problem that interests them, conduct research on the subject, maintain a portfolio of findings or results, create a final product demonstrating their learning acquisition or conclusions (a paper or a multimedia presentation, for example), and give an oral presentation on the project to a panel of teachers, experts, and community members who collectively evaluate its quality.

The capstone project is designed to encourage students to think critically, solve challenging problems, and develop skills such as oral communication, public speaking, research skills, media literacy, teamwork, planning, self-sufficiency, or goal setting—i.e., skills that will help prepare students for college, modern careers, and adult life. In most cases, the projects are also interdisciplinary, in the sense that they require students to apply skills or investigate issues across many different subject areas or domains of knowledge. Capstone projects also encourage students to connect their projects to community issues or problems, and to integrate outside-of-school learning experiences, including activities such interviews, scientific observations, or internships.

While capstone projects can take a wide variety of forms, a few examples will help to illustrate both the concept and the general educational intentions:

  • Designing and building a product, computer program, app, or robot to address a specific need, such as assisting the disabled
  • Interning at a nonprofit organization or a legislator’s office to learn more about strategies and policies intended to address social problems, such as poverty, hunger, or homelessness
  • Conducting a scientific study over several months or a year to determine the ecological or environmental impact of changes to a local habitat
  • Researching an industry or market, and creating a viable business plan for a proposed company that is then “pitched” to a panel of local business leaders
  • Creating a public service campaign including writing, directing, and filming a public-service announcement that will be aired on public-access television

 

 

"Capstone Project Definition." The Glossary of Education Reform. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 June 2014.