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Graduation by Exhibition at PFFS

On Thursday, May 21st, the PFFS 2015 eighth grade class (at PFFS-U) will be formally promoted to high school at a grand ceremony in the ZUZI! Theater at 6:00 pm.  At the ceremony, graduates will be called up to the podium one by one and a poem about each graduate will be read aloud by a faculty member, a fellow student will speak about what that graduate has meant to them (what we at PFFS call a namaste), and then the graduate will share their ‘thank you’ remarks.  As part of the ceremony, there will be performances by eighth graders and special awards will be given to four eighth graders who have embodied our mission (To Know, To Dream, To Rise) in their lives.

The PFFS promotion ceremony is a wonderful community affair that we certainly look forward to every year.  However, the 5/21 ceremony is a formality.  At Paulo Freire we are committed to a rigorous process we call ‘graduation by exhibition’.

Graduation by Exhibition

PFFS 8th graders have been collecting work examples and writing reflections since early in the 1st Semester and they will be presenting/defending portfolios of their middle school work to panels of judges next week on Wednesday, May 6th in what we call our 8th Grade Portfolio Exhibition.  To download/print a copy of this description of the portfolio presentation process go to Graduation_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 will 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.

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.

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