It may seem like a long way off but our 8th graders will be becoming 9th graders in just a few short months. On Thursday, May 21st (less than 6 months from now) the PFFS-U 8th grade class will be promoted to 9th grade at our formal promotion ceremony in the ZUZI! Theater at 6:00pm. Whereas the graduation of our 8th grade culminates in ZUZI! Theater on May 21st, the promotion process itself has begun much earlier. Our PFFS 8th graders have been collecting work examples and writing reflections since early in the 1st Semester (although some have been more diligent than others) and they will be presenting/defending portfolios of their middle school work to panels of judges on Wednesday, May 6th in what we call our 8th Grade Portfolio Exhibition.
Only students who have successfully presented/defended their portfolio and who have shown proficiency in the core competencies for the middle grades will participate in the formal 8th Grade Promotion Ceremony on May 21st. Students who are not successful with their portfolio presentation/defense on May 6th are given the opportunity to make the necessary revisions and re-present/defend their portfolio at a later date.
This year our portfolio process is completely digital. Every student has been given their own PFFS ‘Google Site’ that they may choose to use for this process (see Portfolio Template) or they may design their own site containing all of the required portfolio components. To view an example of a self-designed portfolio site created by a student last year see Oliver’s Portfolio. During the the portfolio exhibition day on May 6th, each student will have an assigned time/space to present their portfolio of work to their panel and the members of their panel will have access to their portfolio site.
Preparing for these presentations is a lot of work. Now that we are concluding the 1st Semester and beginning the 2nd Semester after Winter Break, every 8th grader must be spending significant blocks of time getting both their portfolio and their presentation/defense of their portfolio ready for exhibition. We hope that Winter Break may provide opportunities for students to complete significant work on their portfolio. To download/print a copy of this description of the portfolio presentation process go to Graduation_Exhibition.
We are so proud of our students and the graduation portfolio process we have developed to showcase what they know and are able to do – that we began last year to share our process with other educators through the Portfolio Workshop. The workshop takes place on the same day of the portfolio exhibitions and participants actually get to experience a live presentation/defense as part of their workshop experience.