New graduation requirement added to Shelton High School

For the past few years the teachers and administration at Shelton High School have been preparing for the implementation of the senior Capstone Project, which is a graduation requirement beginning with the Class of 2015.

The SHS Leadership Team, comprised of the administration, curriculum leaders and department chairs, visited high schools that had model programs to obtain insight into the strengths of these programs and discuss some pitfalls that they encountered.

The SHS Capstone Committee developed the project guidelines, which are included in the Capstone Student Handbook. A junior class assembly to give information will be held on May 5, followed by a parent informational evening on May 14.

The project

As a member of the Class of 2015, SHS graduation requirements include successful completion of a one-credit Senior Capstone Project.

The Capstone Project is a culminating opportunity for students to demonstrate Shelton High School’s core values, beliefs, and learning expectations and apply the knowledge students have gained in four years of schooling to a real world experience.

The project should encompass an area of particular interest to the student. The goals of the Capstone Project are to choose a topic that will deliver a fulfilling, challenging experience and to further prepare students to become responsible citizens who participate productively in a global society.

Three general categories of the project include an internship, community service and a special interest project.


Each project must meet specific guidelines and established deadlines. There are three main components to the Capstone Project: minimum 15 hours of field work, a reflective paper, and a presentation.

Students will have the opportunity to turn in their project proposal for approval in the spring of their junior year.

Once approved by the committee, this will allow students to work on an annotated bibliography and up to five field work hours the summer before their senior year begins. Upon receiving approval by the Capstone Committee, students will work throughout the year researching and learning more about a topic of choice, meeting with a school-approved mentor, and producing a final product.

Capstone presentations will take place in advisory during the spring of a student’s senior year. Rubrics will be used to assess student progress.


Capstone mentors will assist the student in clarifying his/her goals and objectives and developing a plan that will result in achieving his/her goals. In addition, the mentor will be available to answer questions in a non-judgmental manner allowing the student to learn from his/her mistakes.

The mentor will guide, encourage and oversee the student as he/she completes his/her project.

The mentor will also help the student evaluate the entire process and the final product. Students and staff will be soliciting community members to serve as mentors for students.

Any community member who would like to serve as a mentor may contact SHS Headmaster Beth Smith at or 203-922-3004.