Portfolio assessment is the process by which students prepare a selection of work that demonstrates knowledge, abilities and growth. Students then present their work to a panel comprised of faculty, students, and a family member. We use the Portfolio as a system to assess student learning because:
- It allows our students to engage in authentic tasks. Students demonstrate their learning using a “real world ” process (in contrast to standardized tests). They are then asked to defend their knowledge in the face of inquiry from their peers and teachers.
- Students are able to demonstrate the skill of revision over time. Long term planning and execution are keys to success in college. We want to foster those skills in high school.
- It asks students to reflect deeply on their learning.
- It asks students to work on their public speaking skills. Students demonstrate that they are able to orally convey their ideas to various audiences.
Graduation Portfolio (12th Grade): The goal of the Graduation Portfolio is to have students engage in a rigorous, multi-level, multi-year investigation process. The final product should demonstrate the general knowledge about the disciplines that the student has studied and the specific knowledge about the topics that he/she has investigated. Graduation Portfolios measure a student’s ability to “speak the language” of each academic discipline. Upon completion of the written work, students present to a panel comprised of faculty, students, and a family/community member. Presentations and written work are graded according to detailed rubrics. Each element of the portfolio aims at demonstrating that the student has mastered a discipline or cross-discipline standard (Learning Target). Portfolios often show the work that got the student to the final point – multiple drafts, pertinent notes, etc. Additionally, students are required to complete written statements that describe the process the student went through to produce the project and an explanation for why each component meets a Learning Target.
Passage Portfolio (10th Grade): Over the course of the 9th and 10th grade students prepare for their Passage Portfolio, a smaller version of the Graduation Portfolio. Towards the end of their sophomore year, all students submit their Passage Portfolio and present to a panel comprised of faculty, students, and a family/community member. Students must demonstrate proficiency on both the written and oral portfolio components in order to be promoted to the Senior Institute (11th and 12th grade).