Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Once again, people speak out against Senior Odyssey who do not know the facts. In Sunday's Steamboat Pilot & Today, Laura Claire McKelvie asks why students cannot take classes in areas they are interested in. There is unlimited opportunity for students to delve into what they are truly interested in as they select their senior projects.
She also says that students need real skills necessary for college-level classes. If those skills include communication, problem solving, creative thinking and time management, then Senior Odyssey not only teaches those skills, but it makes students use those skills.
McKelvie wishes that she had even stronger writing and critical-reading abilities. If she had chosen to remain at Steamboat Springs High School for her entire senior year, instead of graduating at the end of first semester, perhaps she would have had more of those skills. She had the choice.
McKelvie says that Senior Odyssey forces students to do elementary research projects that culminate in a poster-board presentation. Unfortunately, because she has not been around or involved in Senior Odyssey, she has not had the opportunity to see the authentic research and the high-level presentations to community members that seniors are required to participate in. The poster board is only one piece of evidence about what students have learned in Senior Odyssey.
Again, as has been so often the case in the debate about Senior Odyssey, people who do not know the facts or have never been directly involved in the program speak out. I have many people tell me about how great the program is. Unfortunately, they often think it is so great, they think it is obvious to everyone.
The Senior Odyssey staff asks that people get the real facts before they form opinions. Whatever the decision is about the continuation of this as a graduation program, it would be beneficial for all concerned that people get the facts about the program.