III. Essential Question

In many ways, the first three years of Riverdale High School are a preparation for the senior exhibition. Essential questions are embedded in projects, units, and classes and students become fluent in asking and answering questions that expand with knowledge. Riverdale student essential questions cover a variety of topics including homeless adolescents, childhood obesity, and environmental sustainability.

Thinking critically and creatively—core values at Riverdale—are essential to the senior exhibition and to the preparatory work done at lower levels. Senior exhibition is a powerful opportunity for students to apply their thinking, research, and knowledge to a service-learning project, which makes a positive impact on their world.

By the time students become seniors, they are ready to focus on their work in senior seminar. The first semester of senior seminar is devoted to college applications and survival skills, The second two trimesters are devoted to senior exhibition: the course is a “workshop” during which students research, write, connect with outside experts and mentors, and develop their presentations.

Our essential questions for the course are:

  • What is meaningful research and service?
  • How can meaningful research and service improve my life and my community?
  • Who will benefit from my service?

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