Rock Creek High School Exit Projects

What are they and what are the benefits?
Rock Creek High School Exit Projects

In the USD 323 School District senior exit projects are quite the controversy with many emotions and opinions attached to the topic. Senior exit projects are meant to serve as long-term projects that allow students to step outside of what high school classes offer and allow them to learn about something they are interested in. 


Senior Exit project advisor Kellie Milner said, “We have found that it is a good experience for kids to learn what are called soft skills”.


Soft skills are things like how to interact with an adult, write professional emails, and how to do an interview.


Senior exit projects are intertwined with the idea of personalized learning. Personalized learning is an educational approach that aims to customize learning for each student’s strengths, needs, skills, and interests. Each student receives a learning plan based on how they learn best.


For example personalized learning allows you to customize your learning to meet your needs and wants and the exit project allows you to learn about topics and ideas that peak your interest. 


Rock Creek senior Ashly Facey provides a good example of what personalized learning is supposed to be when she says that the project gives her “…a purpose to start a hobby I’ve always wanted to start”.

For Facey’s project she chose to “…crochet blankets for a women’s shelter.”

 At Rock Creek you start your senior exit project your junior year and it carries over into your senior year. 

Nemaha Central High School in Marshall county is the only other school close to the area that requires an exit project as a graduation requirement along with Rock Creek.  

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion about the topic but I wanted to look at the numbers before I heard opinions. When looking at the average dropout rate from schools in our area I found that schools who don’t do an exit project have an averaged 1.0 drop out rate. In comparison to Rock Creek and Nemaha Central who have an averaged 0.4 drop out rate.

Some Rock Creek students have gone on to pursue a skill that was learned through their exit projects, or even have developed new hobbies through the project.

 Other students at Rock Creek simply do the project to check off a box and receive a diploma on the day of graduation. 

Junior Seagen Sutton expressed, “I don’t feel that it’s super beneficial although depending on what people do for their project can vary how important it is”.

Seniors at Rock Creek who want to meet the early bird deadline for the exit projects are cranking down and working to get them done by December 8th, the deadline for early bird presentations. Others of the senior class have some time to sit down and relax because they have already finished or are close to finishing. 

Facey says that her “…exit project is currently going really well and I’m about 16 out of 17 steps through.”

While different seniors are at different points in their exit projects, the exit project advisors will make sure to support their endeavors and make sure they receive a diploma.


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