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CAPSTONE EXPERIENCE PROJECT APPROACHES TO CURRICULUM MODEL

APPROACH TO ADMINISTRATION:
Using the Parallel Curriculum Model with our Capstone Experience Project provides an opportunity for
administrators to be involved with the students projects. Administration will first need to approve the project
and allow students to work with local community businesses. Once this has been approved, administration
needs to be supportive of the students, teachers, and the businesses. Administration should be informed of all
updates and should make an effort to be present when the business people make visits on campus and also
when students are presenting.
APPROACH TO INSTRUCTION:
The National Association for Gifted Children (2005) defines the parallel curriculum model as an integrated
framework and set of procedures for designing rigorous and highly motivating curriculum that attends to
important student differences.
Therefore, critical thinking will be developed by focusing on three major components in the classroom which
consist of creativity, intrinsic motivation, and rigor.
Creativity: students need to be able to think outside the box. They need to be able to develop
new ideas and concepts without the fear of failing.
Intrinsic Motivation: students should have the desire to learn by engaging them in activities
that they are passionate about.
Rigor: students should be challenged inside and outside the classroom by questioning their
own answers and/or results.
Combining these three components to a student-centered learning curriculum will help improve the students
critical thinking skills. Having these critical thinking skills will help develop students to become lifelong learners
once they are outside of the classroom setting.
OVERVIEW OF CONTENT OR WHAT IS TO BE TAUGHT:
Capstone Experience introduces a system that is functional for teachers. It is a project-based
experience that can be applied to all subject areas. Students use critical thinking skills that are applied to reallife and in turn they become life-long learners. As a culmination of fulfilling the high school graduation
requirements students are allowed to complete an alternative form of testing, such as the Capstone Project.
These capstones will help students broaden their critical thinking skills by implementing: creativity, problem
solving, research skills, communication skills, reflection and evaluation through community-based projects that
will portray a students learning throughout the year.
APPROACH TO STUDENT ASSESSMENT AND EVALUATION:
The Parallel Curriculum Model provides opportunities for the teacher to create a variety of student
assessments. This curricular model challenges students to go above and beyond and to push for higher
learning experiences. Students have opportunities to be creative with their assignments and projects which
allow the students to learn to be responsible for their own learning. In regards to the Capstone Experience
Project the students assessments will consists of a variety of key performance assessments such as research
reports, delivering presentations, creating solutions to local businesses, a final report including all the key
findings, and a final presentation on how the solutions were applied.
Using the Parallel Curriculum Model with our Capstone Experience Project allows students to
constantly be evaluated not only by their teacher, but also by their peers and most importantly by themselves.

Evaluation of students assessments will be continuous and ongoing from the beginning to the end of the
project cycle. The teacher will look for academic standards and ensure the students are completing the
assessments to the best of their ability and in a timely manner. Students will provide each other feedback, and
each student will take a survey where they will evaluate themselves. Students will also be interviewed by the
teacher at different intervals of the project to evaluate their self-perceptions and self-efficacy.
APPROACH TO TEACHER/STAFF DEVELOPMENT:
Teachers will attend a summer training where they will be exposed to the concepts and guidelines of the
Capstone Experience Project. We would propose a three day training when this innovation is first adopted, so
that teachers can get a thorough understanding of what the Capstone Experience Project is all about. In the
trainings teachers will be asked to pair up so that the objectives and concepts taught in the classes can align to
the students projects. Teachers will also be given a variety of examples of projects that the students can work
on. After the first four weeks, teachers will have another staff development day where they can ask questions,
get help, and get a refresher on the concepts and ideas. After the first semester teachers will need another
staff development day now that the project should be on going. At this staff development teachers will review
how to conclude the Capstone Project Cycle. All of this staff development days would be recommended for the
first year only, and after that the number of staff development days can be significantly decreased.
APPROACH TO TEACHER EVALUATION:
Using the Parallel Curriculum model with the Capstone Project provides for teachers to be evaluated
frequently. The Capstone Project provides a rubric that will be used to evaluate teachers throughout the year.
Teachers are expected to regularly have conferences with students to discuss the development and
implementation of the project, and to conduct the student interviews. They are also expected to communicate
with the business and school administration about the students progress on the projects. Administrators will
conduct walk through where they will check that all students are engaged, motivated, and on task.
PARENT INVOLVEMENT:
Capstone Experience works hand in hand with parent involvement to develop life-long learners. It is
fundamental that parents become aware of this supplemental assessment since it is a key component for
students learning development. Parents will be notified of students Capstone Experience project and made
aware of the requirements and rigor of this project. They will be invited to a Parents Night at the beginning of
the year to introduce them to the project and answer any concerns they might have. Parents will also be
provided with monthly newsletters where they would see the development of the students project and any
upcoming information fundamental for students success in this Capstone Project. Finally parents that are
business owners will have the opportunity to become part of this Capstone Experience Project and develop
students success.
CONNECTIONS TO COMMUNITIES:
Capstone Experience will introduce students to develop community awareness. This project-based
experience will work with community leaders and businesses integrating core concepts to develop solutions to
local community businesses. The overall achievement of this project is for students to be exposed to real life
problems and create solutions. Students will be required to develop a project that is strictly used to impact
communities and help local business owners.