Upper School

Independent Senior Project


"They [Seniors] are living in three time dimensions at once: with the record they have already assembled, the work they are doing in their final year, and the kind of work they imagine in their future. . .[so] self-respecting high schools can seize back senior year. They can change the emphasis of the course of study to the serious interests that the seniors are developing and the eventual work that they might be able to do. . . [in] a serious senior project that would require practice in the qualities the seniors need to take to their next work, such as emotional stamina, making well-informed choices of what to study and create, managing time well and adjusting to change. Internships may often be an excellent adjunct to these projects, since they emphasize the learning that can come from experience and from colleagues."
In the final weeks of the seniors' careers at St. Margaret's Episcopal School, students participate in Independent Senior Projects (ISPs). The main goal of the ISP program is to create a transition for the seniors from the structure of high school to the independence of college. We hope to give students a chance to apply their in-school learning to real world experiences outside the classroom, and to realize what life is like outside of a school setting. ISPs are a golden opportunity for students and the institution as a whole to demonstrate the effectiveness of the school's mission and core values. One of the hallmarks of a St. Margaret’s Episcopal School education is a connection to the real world. Here, education is not pursued in a vacuum, as we strive to equip students with the habits of mind and the skills and knowledge to thrive. This self-designed educational experience pushes students to:
  • Transition to an independent environment
  • Apply classroom learning to real-life situations
  • Constructively use time during and after AP exams worthy of ceasing instruction in other classes
  • Allows all divisions to see the outcome of the high school experience essentially giving them a direction to aspire to.
  • St. Margaret’s wishes to strengthen the “bridge” between our school and the surrounding community. By reaching out to different groups in our community (parents, alumni, and local businesses) we will secure meaningful projects for our seniors.

The Four Types of Independent Senior Projects:

List of 4 items.

  • 1. Internship or Apprenticeship

    Includes working with a business, artistic, educational or government organization to learn about a given field or career.
  • 2. Service Learning Projects

    Allow students to expand their involvement with community service organizations and invest time and energy that is not ordinarily possible during the academic year.
  • 3. Academic Inquiry

    May be interpreted broadly to include visual and performing arts, but also other creative endeavors such as independent research, writing, culinary arts, religious exploration – the possibilities are endless.
  • 4. Job

    Allow students to acquire a job in their local area where they can work a minimum of 18 hours per week during the designated independent project period.
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An Independent Preschool Through Grade 12 College-Preparatory Day School in Orange County California

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St. Margaret's Episcopal School does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, sexual orientation or national and ethnic origin in the administration of its educational, admission, financial aid, hiring and athletic policies or in other school-administered programs.