PSAT And Junior Portfolio Support


Written by Katie Costello |
Information about Junior Portfolio provided by Paige Mustaro |

Junior Portfolio

On Wednesday October 16th, the sophomores and juniors took the PSAT’s from 7:30-10:56 for free. Most students know that they will have to take the SAT’s for their future plans after high school, and the PSAT’s help prepare them for what the real SAT will be like. While the sophomores and juniors took the PSAT’s, the seniors slept in and came in at 10:56, attending only 3 periods after that. Being a senior has its benefits, but before this year, students who wanted to take the PSAT’s had to sign up in the guidence office and pay a fee.

This is a new way of taking PSAT’s that the school has started just this year. I asked some underclassmen what they thought about the PSAT’s. Sophomore Lucas Lenox explains to me a little bit about what the PSAT’s were like for him. “I felt I wasn’t prepared for them by the school. I did like how I got to do it in school, miss classes, and not have to pay a fee.” Junior April Reed said ,” I feel as thought the breaks allowed my classmates and I to relax, take the pressure off, and made it more comfortable for everyone. It was a lot easier than I thought.” Junior Nate Blanusa explains, “I liked how I didn’t have to pay for the PSAT’s, and we got to miss some of school. They were helpful in a sense of what will be on the SAT’s.” So far, the students that I talked to about PSAT’s seemed accepting that they were a part of high school and the college process. It was good that the school took away the fee and made it easier for all students to take this important test.

The freshmen, on the other hand, had four 50 minute sessions to learn about and discuss the junior portfolio. Six seniors were picked from the Introduction to Acting class to demonstrate to the freshmen how to do and present a junior portfolio. If you haven’t heard about the schools new junior portfolio, I will explain. It is a collection of a student’s best work which is graded by a rubric. This collection of papers and rubrics will be presented to the faculty of Clinton Public Schools. This junior portfolio is supposed to allow a student to show their strengths and weaknesses and acknowledge progress. This is also to make the teachers use rubrics more to show proof that the student are meeting the standards of the school. In order to graduate, each student must pick certain pieces of their portfolio to present to the teachers who grade them on their speaking, progress through high school, and collection of rubircs as a whole. If a student does not pass this evaluation, they may not be able to graduate. I am told there is an option that if a junior does not pass, they may be reevaluated and present in their senior year to graduate.

Freshman Autumn Johnson explains to me,” The junior portfolio session was helpful and made everything more clear. I was expecting it to be boring, but it made the who thing seem less overwhelming, and I feel more prepared for it now.” Emily Sobieraj said ,” I liked the presentations and examples that they gave us during the different sessions. I understood the rubrics a lot more after.”

Although this day seemed to be boring and unnecessary, the underclassmen who participated in it seemed to have benefitted greatly. They came back with some knowledge that they didn’t know before. The school did a good job of making the PSAT’s easier to take, and helping to clarify for the freshman what the junior portfolio was all about and how to do it.