Leah Petty Capstone

For my capstone I went back to the middle school I attend, Middle Years Alternative (MYA), and taught their three seventh grade classes about the high school process. I wanted to do this project because I saw a real struggle in the school, I started to notice less kids from MYA getting into SLA. Then I learned that after the district started closing schools MYA was forced to take in those students, soon after this their principal retired along with many teachers. Also my younger sister is a current seventh grader at the school, and when I asked her what high school is thought she would like to attend when she graduates, she replied "I don't know" and said they really haven't talked about it much. After this I went to the school and talked to the new principal and asked if I could do my senior capstone project at the school, and it would be informing the students about the high school process. This would include getting them to know the different schools in Philadelphia, and letting them know the requirements, talking about college and how important it is to go to a school that best fits them for the future. I started out in March before they took their PSSA's, this would give them time to know how high they should be scoring in order to get into the schools they would like to go to. After the testing was done we started to talk about grade requirements and what their GPA's need to look like, and behavior grading too. I went into talking about clubs and sports teams also, what school are at the top. In the end I asked them how much they benefitted from this, all of them said that it was very helpful and learned something new that would help them choose a high school, and be more prepared.

Here are some pictures of my students and there top high school choices:


"GreatPhillySchools - Home." GreatPhillySchools. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2015.


Great Philly schools is website devoted to rating and reviewing schools in Philadelphia. These schools range from pre-k to High School. When using this website in my capstone I will be focusing on high schools. I would like to have the students I’m teaching research the schools they are thinking about applying to and see if it is a good fit for them. This could be based on the size of the school, location, average test scores,    sport teams, ect. The point of this is to let the students see if this is really is the school they want to. Let them do their own research on the schools they want to go to, and not just hearing about it. 

"The School District of Philadelphia." US News. U.S.News & World Report, n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2015.


This source comes from US News, under Education. This specific page is on the Philadelphia School District and has all the Philadelphia high schools and ranking, now many of the schools are not ranked. But one of the main reasons I’m using this page because it says rather or not the schools are nationally recognized. This is something you should take into account when picking a high school, because when it comes down to applying to college you want the college to know your school. I want to get across to the students that the decision of your high school falls right under college, the next big thing after this is start researching colleges to apply to.

"Inside Strawberry Mansion High School, Philadelphia, Pa Most Dangerous H S in America." YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2015.


This is a video titled “Inside Strawberry Mansion High School”, in this video World News goes inside Strawberry Mansion High School. The school has been labeled the most dangerous school in America. Diane Sawyer goes into the school and reports on the violence. I want to show the students that is not what you want to go though when you're in school, you don’t want to have to fight just to make it through the day. You want to know that you are in a safe learning environment. A school that is going to provide you things to better you for your future, the main thing they focus on in Strawberry Mansion is safety.   

"Philadelphia's District and Charter High Schools: How Are They Doing?"Public School Notebook. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2015.


The notebook is Philadelphia news paper that is dedicated to Philadelphia schools. This page talks about the top special admit schools and things you need to know before applying. Things like SAT scores, graduation rate, suspensions, total enrollment, ect. And since I the goal is to the students in the top schools in Philadelphia we want them to know these things before applying, and their parents to know. Especially because it goes into the percentage of low income students they have, because we don’t want a student feeling out of place because of the amount of money their parent have. 

"Counselors Offer Advice on Applying." Public School Notebook. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2015.


This page is also from the notebook, and this is advice from counselors around the city. Mostly from Elementary and Middle Schools, they talk about what is the best things to do when applying to schools. Also making sure you inform students about a schools before letting them apply, which is mainly my entire project. And it helps parents when you have more than one person saying the same thing. Because I’m still a kid in their eyes so I want to have some professionals to back me up. 

"High School Profiles." School Profiles. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2015.


Once again this is from the Philadelphia Notebook. This is just a browser of all the high schools in the city, public and charter. Which I want to focus on, I don’t what parents or students to think in order to get a good education you have to pay, thats one thing I knew I didn’t want to talk about, private and catholic schools. So I want them the see the schools they have already heard about schools they have never heard of, and everything in between. I really want the parents to go though this too. 

"Julia R. Masterman Laboratory and Demonstration School." Julia R. Masterman Laboratory and Demonstration School. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2015


This agin is from the Philadelphia Notebook. This is just about Julia R. Masterman which at this moment in time is the top school in the state. I want them to see this because I want them to know you don’t have to go to this school to be the best. Also talk about how much stress the kids there go though and how hard it is. And touch on how they kick there kids out if they can’t maintain good grades, and how you don’t want that.

"School Selection Timeline." Public School Notebook. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2015.


This is a time line of how the application process goes when applying to high schools. This is for this year instead of next so will be modifying it. This is mainly for parents to know that to do when next yea comes. This will also be in whatever I choose to do rather it be a booklet or website. But this is very important thing to touch on for the parents so they have a head start next year. 

"Getting a Jump on High School." Public School Notebook. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2015.


This again from the Notebook, this talks about preparing your student for the transition form middle school to high school. Which can be a big jump for most kids and you don’t want to just throw them into that. So this will help most parents with their child, and what small steps they can take before taking the big leap. So this is mainly for parents. 

"Selecting a High School: Frequently Asked Questions." The Notebook, n.d. Web.


This is just Frequently Asked Questions. These are for questions I might not know, or for parents or students that need more info. I think again that this will be more helpful for parents that don’t fully trust me. I think this will be good to for something to go back to when for next fall.