Seniors revolted after being notified of an additional Vision of a Graduate requirement for the Capstone final paper. On March 18th, seniors were notified of a new post on the google classroom for the Capstone. The new post contained directions stating to complete a new assignment to include alongside the rest of the Capstone reflection portion that was due April 1st. The Vision of a Graduate was intended to provoke students to reflect on their education so far as a whole from K-12, rather than just focusing on the timeline of the Capstone. Though not a major addition, students felt blindsided and spoke out about its impact on their mental health.
Mr. Ken Rider, one of the Capstone coordinators, was soon confronted with comments on the assignment, mostly of frustration.
Rider recounts the series of events stating, “I would say the first couple of comments were just asking if it should’ve been longer than it already should’ve been…” to which he clarified that no additional pages were required, but rather to consider the questions while writing the reflection. He then says that a couple hours later comments poured in.
Senior, Grey Simons was one of the many seniors who took to the comment section to voice their thoughts. “I am one of the kids that normally puts their head down and does their work, no questions asked…” Simons continued, “I have been working on my project all year round, I have been on top of it. That doesn’t change the fact that this is just an added layer of stress that none of us need right now. This entire Capstone has done nothing but weigh over me like a dark cloud,”
Masuk principal Mr. Steven Swenson posted an announcement to provide clarity and address the concerns raised.
“I, along with the Capstone advisors, and all staff and administrators at Masuk care deeply about your mental and physical health, so if there is anything we can do over the next few months to help you, please do not hesitate to reach out,” stated Swenson in response to the mental health struggles many students shared. Principal Swensen later shared “…Please complete parts F and H as assigned and consider part G as optional.”
On March 25th yet another post made its way onto the classroom page, but this one was different. This post was offering an alternative towards the traditional in-person presentation set for May 26th. The alternative was to film a five minute video presentation to turn in by Friday May 21st.
Grey reacted to the news of the new options, “I’m grateful that they gave us an alternative. I’m happy that they actually listened to us instead of brushing us off. I think it’s a good compromise for what we were asking.”