• Refining science related ideas with former SMS teacher, Mr. Alarcon

  • Brainstorming sports themed ideas with SMS Alum Nick Martinez, who works at NBC Sports

  • Patrik presenting his idea to the Advisory Board

  • Advisory Board members considering students' proposals

  • Aurore answers a question about her proposal from a Board Member

  • Board members listen carefully to a student proposal

  • Taking a closer look at Michael's proposal

  • Mrs. Manno and Ms. Kasinskas with SMS Alum and Capstone Advisory Board member Andrew Ostrosky

  • Capstone Evening

Capstone Overview

A "capstone" is the final piece that is installed to complete a building's construction.  At Saint Mary, our Capstone project represents the culmination of our students' educational experience with us.  We want our students to succeed in high school, but also in college and eventually as members of the workforce and global community.  This project offers students not just self-directed learning, but hands-on experience.

The Grade 8 Capstone Project is under the direction of Mrs. Manno, Grade 8 Homeroom teacher and Middle School Spanish, Ms. Kasinskas, Middle School ELA teacher (English/Language Arts) and Ms. Nesbitt, Learning Specialist.  Students meet weekly as a class.  They will brainstorm project ideas, finalize their project idea, locate resources to complete the project, identify mentors (either inside of outside of school) who will provide additional guidance and support for the project, present their ideas to the Capstone Advisory Board for approval, and complete work on the actual project. 

Advisory Board members include local educators and professionals including current and former SMS teachers, SMS School Advisory Board Members, Parents of Alumni, and college aged alumni.

In addition to these weekly in school meetings, students will work independently at home.  This is an individual project based on each student’s interests and passions, therefore, group projects will not be allowed. 

Parent support should be limited because the intention of this project is for students to develop and gain confidence in key “workplace” skills such as:

  • Communication
  • Research and Analysis
  • Planning and Multitasking
  • Leadership
  • Creativity

An evening event will allow students to present their projects.  Completion of the Capstone Project is a requirement for Graduation.