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Senior projects are a Milton tradition providing graduating Class I students with an opportunity to take a deep dive into a topic that interests them, whether they’re serving the community, exploring a favorite class subject further, learning a new skill, shadowing a professional, or creating art.

Planning for the project period—the month of May through the first days of June—has encountered some obstacles during the COVID-19 pandemic, however, leading to an expansion of project offerings, said Academic Dean Heather Sugrue. 

“We wanted to provide some more options and build something that would assume our current pandemic restrictions remain in place,” she said. “So that means that we can’t plan for students having internships or working off-campus. We needed to give some more options.”

The new offerings this year include the choice of more than a dozen seminars coordinated by adults in the Milton community. Topics include creative writing, animation, designing educational games, the historical archeology of Milton, justice and law in the movies, geology, cooking, Latin epigraphy, prize fiction of 2020, race and the war on drugs, military history, the future of schools, and more.  

Seniors have four choices in total: They can still design their own project, which has to be approved; another option is to attend a senior seminar or two, which involves a few hours of meeting time per week and significant independent study; seniors can choose to remain in select courses and perform some independent work; or they can participate in an Equity and Justice Leadership Institute run by the Office of Multiculturalism and Community Development.

The leadership institute is an intensive workshop for students interested in equity and justice work, where they will receive training on relevant topics and also learn to train their peers. Through a series of speakers, seminars, and workshops, students will be immersed in explorations of identity, restorative practices, and antiracism theory.

“We’re hoping this will draw some students in who really want to leave their mark on Milton in this important way,” Sugrue said.

Sugrue and Upper School Principal David Ball will meet virtually with Class I parents this week to discuss the senior project options.