Directed Study

Directed Study is a very flexible academic elective that is exclusively available to TAG students. Modeling many colleges' independent studies or research courses, Directed Study allows students to choose their own subject of study and design their own goals and coursework.  DS students complete a contract during the first week of the semester, tying course objectives to the TAG standards. Students may choose to schedule this course for a semester or a year. 

Things to consider when planning a Directed Study:

1. TOPIC: If your selected topic is related to a discipline in the Fine Art or Math & Science Magnets, then TAG Directed Study can count as Magnet Credit pending submission of the appropriate form.

2. ADVISOR: If you will need specific guidance, advice, and review for your subject matter, it is your responsibility to obtain an advising teacher. The advising teacher can help you problem solve or manage discipline-specific material. You don't want Ms. Pekatos, an English teacher, grading your STEM assignments! The advisor is NOT the teacher, and will not grade work.


3. MATERIALS: consider the necessary materials. You might only need a laptop, but some projects can get expensive quickly. Consider what materials you have at home available for your use and talk to teachers in your chosen discipline about what materials might be available. This should also include any texts or online courses you might need.

4. SPACE: Finally, develop a plan for an appropriate location for your particular project ideas; you can't grow mold or play with power tools in the TAG Classroom!

I really enjoyed having a chance, during the school day, to explore a field that I might be interested in for the future. I didn't really know what it meant for architecture to be 'sustainable,' but I feel much more knowledgeable now. I'm really glad in the end that I took Directed Study.

Annabelle, 11th

Directed Study on Sustainable Architecture, designed a eco-friendly building

This was a very fun experience. Even though there were some [technical] difficulties that prevented me from recording as many songs as I wanted, I got to learn about multiple recording programs. I was working in the studio with [a good friend] who was very helpful and supportive. It was creative, and it was unique.

Grace, 12th

Directed Study in Vocal Music & Audio Recording; created a demo CD of songs


  • Metallurgy/Blacksmith: Konrad built a forge and created blacksmithing projects.

  • Writing a Novel: Alma is writing full novel over the course of the year

  • Independent Art Show: Kate and Nancy planned out their own art assignments and each designed a personal gallery show.

  • Advanced Mathematical Proofs: Konrad willingly worked through famous difficult proofs after advancing out of the available math courses at NS

  • FBLA Project- March of Dimes: Anthony used his directed study to execute a large-scale event for FBLA that had multiple components on campus and in the community. 

  • Computer Programming:  Ohad built several computer programs and a phone app. It was way over my head. 

  • 3-D Printing: Jared worked with the two different 3-D printers in the our Art and Tech departments. He problem-solved and repaired the printers, in addition to designing and printing some items.

  • Advanced Scientific Experiment: Maddie and Kerry are planning a year long experiment that follows the scientific process. 


If you're considering a Directed Study, we encourage you to look through the Manual. It includes descriptions of all assignments, templates, and rubrics.



The first assignment in any Directed Study is to create your contract. The contract guides your semester and acts as a plan for all of your assignments