Senior Thesis & Senior Project

The senior thesis and senior project are the culminating academic experiences of your student’s career at The Park School. These graduation requirements create a tremendous opportunity for students to truly pursue their interests both through the process of developing and defending a thesis and through a self-designed educational experience. The ability to successfully complete these two tasks is equal to any college learning experience your student will encounter.

Senior Thesis

At Park, successful completion of the senior thesis is required for graduation. Each senior will write a Modern Language Association-style evaluative research paper of at least 12 pages. The topic is selected by the student and approved by the Senior Thesis Committee. This paper is a guided endeavor that students complete over a measured period of time with established checkpoints from onset through completion. Students meet regularly in a class called Senior Seminar in which two teachers, the Director of College Counseling, and the Upper School Head guide them. Worksheets and rubrics for each step of the project are used to instruct and to keep the process organized. Toward the end of the school year before seniors leave for their Senior Project experience, students present their theses to an audience of their peers, teachers, and parents.

Senior Project

At the end of their senior year, Park seniors explore real-world areas of interest in a way that would not be possible within the confines of a classroom. Students design their own projects and submit them for approval to a faculty mentor. Past projects have included internships at the Canadian Consulate, a Hollywood television production company, law firms, radio stations, and recording studios; the creation of trail guides for local bike baths; and a documentary about the lives of Buffalo's homeless.

The purpose of senior project is to give each graduating senior an opportunity to design an experience that will culminate his or her high school experience. The project may be career-related or it can be a pursuit of a hobby or other interest. Typically, the project either creates something that symbolically caps one's Park career, or designs an experience through which one can learn about a field of interest which has been unexplored or under explored during a student’s years here.

The project must have a tangible result that can be displayed to a faculty committee and to visitors to the campus during graduation weekend. Completion of the project must be explicitly a learning experience, and it must require at least 50 hours of work to complete.
Founded in 1912, The Park School of Buffalo has the distinction of being one of the oldest Progressive schools in the country. Park is an independent, co-educational school serving approximately 300 students enrolled in prekindergarten (3 and 4 year olds), lower school (kindergarten through grade 4), middle school (grades 5 through 8), and upper school (grades 9 through 12). Park is uniquely situated on 34 beautiful acres in Amherst, New York. The School’s campus – formerly a farm – includes a pond, marsh, gardens, and a greenhouse while being located just minutes from downtown Buffalo and easily accessible from many communities throughout Western New York. Park’s educational philosophy embraces active, student-centered learning, delivered by exceptional teachers who design and continuously update a robust curriculum. Faculty members approach each student as an individual within the context of a kind and respectful community. From the preschool years through college preparation, The Park School of Buffalo helps learners realize their own unique potentials and prepares them to be confident, successful, life-long learners.

The Park School Of Buffalo

4625 Harlem Road
Snyder, NY 14226
Receptionist: 716-839-1242
Voicemail: 716-839-1243
Fax: 716-839-2014