During senior year, all students assemble a portfolio of interdisciplinary writing samples drawn from their Upper School coursework. The purpose of the portfolio is not simply to assess students on the quality of their writing but rather to assess their sense of themselves as developing writers. They are required to submit (but portfolios are not limited to): a research paper, an example of creative or scientific writing, three essays from English classes, global revisions of at least two items, and a justification essay of approximately one page for each item in the portfolio.
In addition to meetings with their teachers, students defend their portfolio before three faculty members. During the defense, students analyze their strengths and weaknesses as writers with an eye toward specific areas for focus and growth during their years in college.
Newton Country Day School recognizes that learning is not confined to a classroom, but is an ongoing process. Senior Project, begun in 1972, is designed to help the students bring critical powers of reflection to bear on their experiences outside the classroom; to exercise responsibility to an employer, to themselves, and to those they serve; and to broaden the scope of their relationships. The off-site internship takes place during the final quarter of senior year. Upon completion of their internship, students present an oral defense. They work with faculty advisors and site supervisors who monitor and mentor them. In recent years, seniors have worked in medical laboratories, hospitals, dental practices, schools, social service agencies, radio and television stations, business enterprises, legal firms, the courts, museums, theatres, government agencies, on political campaigns, at zoos, and for professional sports teams.