Scholar of Social Studies

The information on this page has been updated for the 2019-20 school year.

  1. Must take at least four years (8 credits) of social studies in grades 9-12 at Valley/Valley Southwoods.
  2. Complete AP U.S. History, AP American Government, and AP Macroeconomics and select one class from either AP European History, AP World History, AP Psychology, or AP Human Geography.
  3. Have an overall GPA of at least 3.5.
  4. Have a GPA of 4.0 in all social studies courses.
  5. Must take the semester exams in all social studies courses without Pass/No Pass.
  6. Must take the AP exams.
  7. Must exhibit a “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, skills, or knowledge 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. 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 experience, 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.