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FAQ

Why bring Evolutions to WHS?
Based on our experience and what we have seen in similar demographic schools such as Needham, Brookline, and Concord-Carlisle, an interdisciplinary program offers students the opportunity to engage in project-based learning that is not confined to the typical bell schedule. At WHS, Evolutions will reach students who are excited by the possibility of exploring school in a new way and who want to have more ownership over their learning. 

How will students be graded?
Students will complete formal and informal assignments based on the Evolutions Learning Objectives and specific academic content. Students will be graded on the extent to which they meet standards developed collaboratively among Evolutions participants and teachers at the beginning of the program.

What about graduation requirements like Guidance Seminar and physical education?
The Evolutions team is working with guidance counselors and physical education teachers to ensure that students meet graduation requirements. While there is no set schedule yet, it is likely that these types of requirements will be during first block 1-3 times per cycle. Evolutions will count as one of students’ required four-years of English and Math, as well as count as a lab science and one-year of Social Studies.

Can seniors still do senior project?
No. Evolutions, though, will resemble Senior Project in that students will be in the community learning, collaborating, and working on authentic projects. Additionally, Evolutions will sometimes share the self-directed nature of Senior Project that allows students to dive into areas of personal interest to fulfill project expectations. Juniors in the program will still be able to do Senior Project during their Senior year. 

How will Junior re-entry work?
There will be about 3 weeks at the end of the year after seniors graduate when teachers will work with the juniors on the skills they need to “reintegrate” into regular classes senior year.

How will students fit elective classes into their schedules?
Students may choose to fill their free blocks (some Blocks 1, Purple Blocks and Blue Blocks) with electives offered during those times. Evolutions students may have to opt out of other electives to be in the program. That being said, Evolutions students will encounter many elements of elective courses in the program, such as extended and artistic projects, and content outside of typical WHS curriculum.

What about student who want 4 years of language courses?
This will depend on if the appropriate language and level are offered during the elective block. Currently, there are no plans to prioritize this in the master schedule, so students may have to choose between Evolutions and their year of language. Students should also consider alternative options such as local college classes for languages. Guidance counselors can provide more information about these options.

What will juniors do about Junior Thesis?
Junior students will complete the thesis when they take US history. These students may try to take US History as one of their classes outside of the program or during their senior year.

What is the application process?

What if a student needs to take or retake any of the MCAS tests?
Educational Proficiency Plan tutoring takes place during Block 1, so students will be able to get the support during that time. They will be excused to take/retake the tests as needed.

How will learning center be incorporated into the program for students with Ed plans?
This will mainly depend on the make-up of our first group of students if it takes place within the program or during one of the elective blocks. We are working with Debi Levine to ensure that we meet our educational obligations.
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