School hasnt even started yet, but graduation will be a little different at Philipsburg-Osceola this year.
The state requires a graduation project for seniors and community service hours but P-O is refining both ideas, starting with the Class of 2013.
In the past, graduation projects have been community- service oriented or based on a personal passion for students. Going forward, they will be more focused on a Mounties post-high school life, whether that entails career objectives or college.
Our job doesnt end with handing over a diploma, Principal Jeffrey Hartmann said. It ends when they have a successful life.
So students will spend more time thinking about the what do I want to do with my life questions, and working on how to get there, with interview techniques, resume writing, and developing other skills and planning their routes on a readiness path that will encourage them to really think about those issues during their four years in high school.
But a job-related focus doesnt mean that the community service aspect isnt important anymore. In fact, its being given a new importance.
At graduation, students sport different items that tell you a little something about the kind of scholar they were in school, or where they are going afterward. Honor students wear gold cords. Military-bound students sport stoles signifying the branches they are entering.
I think everyone knows a kid who wasnt tops in academics, but was just a good kid, Hartmann said.
Those students will have the opportunity to wear their hearts on their sleeves with the silver cord program, which will honor those who go above and beyond in community service.
Graduates who achieve 100 hours through their high school careers (or 25 hours per year for this years sophomores, juniors and seniors) will sport different kinds of honor cords at commencement, paying tribute to kids who spent their years at P-O learning about helping other people.
Lori Falce writes weekly about the Rush Township/Philipsburg area. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.