Each fall, the senior class at Souhegan High School in Amherst, NH, begins an impactful and rigorous journey that uniquely prepares them for the career, college or service experience awaiting them after high school.

They engage in a deep exploration of themselves and their chosen subject through a yearlong, personalized, experiential learning opportunity called Senior Project.

Reaching Higher NH teamed up with Boston area filmmaker, Julie Mallozzi, Souhegan High School film students and staff, to document the journey of three Souhegan seniors as they move through their projects over ten months.

We wanted to answer the following questions:

• Is this a student-centered approach to learning? Student-centered learning happens when educators and students work together, each having a valued voice in the conversation. They exchange ideas, offer feedback, leverage strengths, and work through challenges as a team, creating a highly personalized experience.

• Is the project equitable and inclusive? Are all students held to rigorous standards? Can it lead to the same engagement and depth of learning for all students?

• Will it prepare students for college, careers, or service after high school?

• What is the value of community involvement in the project?

• In addition to the topic students are exploring, what skills will they build?

Each journey focuses on different elements of the project. Souhegan’s personalized, deep learning experience captures New Hampshire’s vision of public education.

This project shows it is possible to cultivate a culture of rigorous learning and growth in any school and for any student. When student voices are valued and mindsets are open, students have access to the futures they want!

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