Written by Rachael Pellegrini| Interviews by Rachael Pellegrini|
Every year on the Friday before April Break, juniors at The Morgan School fulfill a graduation requirement known as Junior Portfolio. Starting freshman year, students begin collecting rubrics from various subjects for categories such as reading, writing, problem-solving, listening/viewing, and creative expression or collaboration. Then in April of their junior year, students present their academic growth to a Clinton Public School panel of teachers.
English teacher Paul Serenbetz, the creator of Junior Portfolio stated, “Junior Portfolio gives students a good idea of their strengths and weaknesses to help them be able to figure out compensation strategies for those weaknesses. The strategies that they learn now will help them be more confident and teach them how to present in college.” The purpose of this presentation is to help students prepare for college and recognize the growth that happens during their high school careers.
For the presentation, each student has the option of creating either a slideshow or a website to display their rubrics. Junior Catie Donadio said, “I have organized my rubrics into a Google Drive folder and began creating a slideshow. So far, I have added a picture and 1 FSC rubric to my presentation.”
Each student at the school is at different stages in preparing for their upcoming presentation. Principal Keri Hagness suggests, “Freshman year, students should save their rubrics so that they can better highlight the growth that has been made since freshman year.” Most teachers at the school have students complete reflections right after students are done with an assignment, making it easier for students to explain the assignment to their panel of teachers.
Senior Emma Dwake advises that students start preparing early and avoid stressing too much. “Although it is a graduation requirement, Junior Portfolio is fairly simple. The whole project is about you and what you have done in high school. Pretend like you are talking to your friends about a project you did. This will make you feel more comfortable and it will be easier to talk to the panel.”
The 2020 Junior Portfolio is the last time that students will be allowed to use both the old Morgan School Rubrics and the new rubrics in their presentation. The new rubrics are designed to elaborate on the old ones and encourage students to reflect on Clinton Public Schools Foundation Skills and Competencies.