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Dear Prospective Mentor:

Portsmouth High School measures student achievement through the graduation requirement of Senior Project.  Seniors demonstrate their ability to write, speak, think, problem solve, research, organize and manage a long-term project.  Senior Project is Portsmouth High School’s state mandated proficiency based graduation requirement (PBGR).  All seniors must pass Senior Project in order to graduate.


The components of Senior Project include:

A proposal that is reviewed by a faculty team using a rubric.  The proposal must provide the essential and supporting questions that frame the long term inquiry, why the student is interested in the topic, his/her baseline knowledge, the proposed product and how that will demonstrate a “stretch” (acquisition of new skills and/or knowledge), a specific mentor or the type of skill set a mentor will need, potential forms of evidence of the product and learning stretch, and a commitment to academic integrity.

 Research on the topic.  The student will  cite, summarize and annotate each source.  One source must be an interview with an expert on the topic.  A minimum of four additional sources are required.

Field work under the guidance of a mentor

A product that connects to the research and demonstrates the learning stretch. 

An online portfolio of the process that includes the proposal, research, periodic reflections and evidence of the product.

A presentation of the student’s senior project process delivered to a panel of judges from the school, the community, and local businesses.   The final speech will be delivered to a team of judges and will constitute a portion of the senior’s final exam grade.

A successful Senior Project involves parents, teachers and, most crucially, mentors and requires student initiative and self-discipline.  As a community member, you are being asked to serve as a student’s mentor for the field work and product portion of her/his Senior Project.  As a mentor, you would be required to do the following:

Be a community member or business person who has an interest in working with high school students to further their knowledge of “real-world” experience

Be at least 21 years of age and NOT related to the student

Be an adult who is not employed by the PHS learning community

Have some expertise in the area of the student’s interest

Be willing to help the student with her/his research and product

Be willing to give an interview if you have specific expertise in the student’s field of interest; be a resource (refer to the interview verification form on the Mentor Page)

Consent in writing to serving in the mentor role (refer to the mentor consent form on the Mentor Page)

Give information and instruction to the student

Provide guidance for the student

Help the student identify the exact product that s/he plans to complete

Help the student push her/his limits and go beyond previous experience or skill levels

Give support and encouragement

Confirm/verify the number of hours the student spent working on the product (minimum of 15) (refer to the fieldwork time log form)

Evaluate the student’s product component of Senior Project using the School’s product rubric (refer to the product rubric form)

If you have any questions or concerns please contact Portsmouth High School at 401-683-2124 X 2510 and leave a message for the Senior Project Coordinators or email the school via  If you are willing and able to assist a senior in this worthwhile endeavor, all of PHS thanks you profusely!


Vicky Hathaway

Dave Innis

The Senior Project Co-Coordinators