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Student Portfolios

At Presidio Hill School, portfolios serve as a powerful tool to help guide students along their journey toward becoming self-sufficient, lifelong learners.

Students in all grades learn to use portfolios in developmentally appropriate ways to build an understanding of their passions and their areas of strength and challenge. Armed with this information, they are prepared to drive their own learning, seeking out what they love, as well as what they need to achieve their goals.

All year long, students add to their portfolios of work. Through a guided process of self-reflection, including the use of rubrics to make clear the expectations for exemplary work, students choose which of their projects, papers or other artifacts of learning most exemplify their best work. They then think and write reflectively on these artifacts, and share their understanding with teachers and parents at portfolio nights and in student-led conferences.

Student portfolios can be organized in a variety of ways. They can be:

  • Comprehensive, containing work from many disciplines at one point in time
  • Ongoing, showing student progress over time
  • Based on criteria and involving students in assessment of their own work

In-class presentations, which reflect student understanding of the work they have chosen for their portfolios, not only provide information to teachers about what was learned, but also serve as instruction for fellow students. In addition, anecdotal record keeping by teachers catches students in the midst of their learning and provides a quintessentially authentic view of student learning.

Though each portfolio certainly contains products, the focus is on the process of learning, leading to next steps and challenges to come.

In Middle School, students build digital learning portfolios using web publishing tools and a variety of multimedia applications. Digital portfolios give students the unique ability to archive and reflect upon a wide variety of work unavailable to a standard paper portfolio including: collaborative works, digital works (movies, audio recordings, animations, websites), three-dimensional works (sculptures, models), large-format works (paintings, murals, poster boards) and performances (science experiments, debates, music, drama).