Preparing for the Junior Portfolio

Written by Sophie Roman |

The Junior Portfolio is a requirement to graduate from The Morgan School. Last year, the class of 2015 seniors were the first group of students to complete the Junior Portfolio.

Junior year is an important year. In addition to the SATs and AP classes, the Junior Portfolio helps students prepare for their future. The Junior Portfolio is a presentation based on assignments with rubrics juniors have completed during their time here at Morgan. These “school-wide rubrics” measure the achievements in academics. There are seven skills that are measured by school-wide rubrics:  reading, writing, speaking, listening/viewing, problem-solving, creative expression, and use of technology.

Although the name may sound intimidating, the overall response of seniors was positive after completing the junior portfolio.IMG_6600

“I felt very prepared because of all the hype leading up to it, even though we were the first class. It was a lot easier then anticipated,” senior Tasha Walker explained. “It definitely helps to keep yourself organized so you don’t have to cram at the end.” Tasha passed with distinction.

Senior Charlotte Limosoni had similar opinions. “It was a lot easier than they built it up to be. Make sure you prepare for it ahead of time.” Charlotte had a good impression from the teachers who scored her presentation. “The teachers were very good. The person I was with would prompt you on what to say if you missed something. They want you to pass.”

The juniors had mixed responses when asked about junior portfolio. Junior Anthony Choronzy doesn’t feel prepared. “It would help if teachers made it mandatory to keep rubrics and assignments in the classroom,” he said, “so when the portfolio comes close, you have many to chose from.” Although he doesn’t feel organized, Anthony does ” feel like I have been given enough assignments with rubrics. Teachers have given us many opportunities.”

Other juniors felt differently. “It’s really stressful,” says junior Dalila Rodriquez, “It’s hanging over my head. It’s a lot of pressure on top of SATs.”

Then, there were juniors such as Mike Baker. “I already have enough rubrics. I don’t want to hear any mention of it before March because they over did it freshman year.”

For juniors worrying about failing, English teacher Mr. Serenbetz reassures them that they will have time to represent until they pass. However, juniors preparing for the portfolio should be aware of the changes made to the requirements of passing or passing with distinction. This year to pass, students have to show and talk about one assignment to the panel. To pass with distinction, students must show growth. “You have to show growth in skill areas.” This means you must have two assignments with rubrics. One showing where you started and the other showing the progress you made.

To be fair to teachers, students can’t ask for rubrics a week before the presentation. Students can use multiple assignments from the same class, but cannot use the same assignment twice. “No double dipping. These rules were made because last year passing with distinction was too vague. We wanted to make it more clear cut,” explained Mr Serenbetz.

At this point in the year, Mr Serenbetz suggests juniors should get their rubrics together. “Choose assignments you are proud of and would like to talk about. Have confidence,” says Serenbetz, “we want to know what you’re good at.”

The panel of teachers juniors will be presenting to are from all Clinton district schools. The Junior Portfolio will take place on March 12th. Good luck and for information on how to not stress out about Junior Portfolio read Why Not to Stress Over Junior Portfolio by Leah Campano.

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