Scholars of Distinction

  • Updated with information for the 2023-24 school year.

    The pathway requirements for Scholars of Distinction are listed under each specific department (available Scholar pathways are listed below). Students must receive a letter grade in all required courses within each pathway. Students can become a Scholar of Distinction in several academic areas.

Scholars of Distinction Requirements

  • Computer Science

  • Engineering Technology

  • Family and Consumer Sciences

  • Fine Arts—Music

  • Fine Arts—Visual Arts

  • Language Arts

  • Mathematics

  • Science

  • Social Studies

  • Technology and Applied Arts

  • World Languages

  • Capstone Experience

    The Capstone experience for each Scholar will be a project that exhibits a deep level of understanding of their area of interest. This Capstone will be the synthesis of the important content, knowledge, or skills that are of vital significance and importance in the Scholar’s area of focus. The Capstone will be evaluated through the lenses of three standards: a) Construction of Knowledge, b) Elaborate Written Communication, and c) Connections to the Student’s Life. Students will develop a Capstone proposal based on the following criteria:

    Standard 1: Construction of Knowledge

    The task asks students to interpret, analyze, synthesize, or evaluate information in writing about a topic, rather than merely reproduce information. To score high, the task should require interpretation, analysis, synthesis, or evaluation of information that goes deeper than simple familiarity with the information.

    Standard 2: Elaborated Written Communication*

    The task asks students to draw conclusions or make generalizations or arguments and support them through extended writing. There is an explicit call for generalization AND support. The task asks students to draw conclusions or to make generalizations or arguments using narrative or expository writing, AND to substantiate them with examples, summaries, illustrations, details, or reasons.

    *Elaborated communication may be most often evident in essays or research papers, but may take other forms.

    Standard 3: Connections to Students’ Lives

    The task asks students to connect the topic to their lives. The task asks students to connect the topic to experiences, observations, feelings, or situations significant in their lives using narrative or expository writing.

    The individual Capstone proposal must be approved in May of the junior year. A presentation of the Capstone experience will be adjudicated prior to May 15 of the senior year by a jury of three composed of their Capstone adviser, a Valley administrator, and a teaching and learning administrator (as available).

    The Capstone adviser will meet with their team of assigned scholars. A topical agenda with timeline will guide the process. This will be explained to all participants during the September large group meeting.