Issue 67 | May 21, 2014 | Step-by-Step Portfolio Prep!
Since it is portfolio season again, here is a SIMPLIFIED page of how-to's. Just use this as an abbreviated summary for everything that needs to go into the box you ship us. All work that is completed between September 1 and August 31, needs to be sent to the assigned advisor before the following October 31 (to avoid a $25 late fee.)
As you prepare to send yours, here is a checklist that will help to ensure all the necessary pieces are in place, along with links to the relevant forms.
List all courses, grades and credits; include the parent signature. Download a form from the website.
Explain the course information including texts or other resources used, method of learning, and evidence supplied. The form, which is on the website, compliments the home school transcript, explaining to the advisor details about each course. (please note: the Curriculum Design sheet is what was sent to the advisor at the beginning of the year. The summary sheet and transcript are sent at the end of the year.)
3. Return Postage or Pre-paid Address Label
We prefer pre-paid postage labels, but we will still take a check if you would rather send that in. Please, no blank checks.
4. Evidence of the Student's Studies
If the course grade was made up of all the test scores averaged, send all the tests in the portfolio. If the grade was also made up of the exercises or papers written, send those graded papers as well.
If evaluations were done by a coach, director, supervisor or teacher, send their written statements or grade form(s) along. For work-study in which a student held down a job, send the pay stubs as evidence of hours invested and an assessment of job performance by a supervisor. If the studies involved fine arts such as drama, music or visual arts, take pictures, make videos, send adjudication forms, playbills, programs, certificates, etc. that have the student's name and date plus a signature.
If your overall grade is based on the average of graded work, the NARHS Grade Tracker Tool is great for tracking an reporting the grades for the course!
The remainder of this information is strictly for self-designed courses.
Self-designed courses are those which are not text-based. Fine arts, physical education, music and work study are typically self-designed, but the core courses may also be. Check with your advisor if you have any questions on this, since self-designed courses need more preparation and information.
* A course description for each self-designed course must be included. A course description form can be printed off from the webpage ( Go to the Downloads tab).
* The course description should include a paragraph about the studies,
i.e. Describe the main topics that were studied.
* Include objectives for which the student was aiming,
i.e. What was the student going to do after the studies that he/she could not do before the studies?
* List resources used,
This will include books, videos, speakers, teachers, websites, manuals, etc. that were used to learn the material in the course.
* Explain the method used for assessing the quality of learning.
Parents may create their own assessment forms or use what NARHS offers in the Resource Advisor (or on the website under "Downloads"). If using such forms as the "Grading Tool for Self-Designed Courses," for most accurate grading, use the form a number of different times during the year. This can also be given to a coach, supervisor etc. for their input. You also might have the student use the "Self-assessment" form a number of different times through the course of study and then average the results with the teacher's score.
*Another useful tool for Self-Designed Courses is the Goals-Based Grading Tool, also available from our website.
6. Log Book
This will document for the advisor the hours logged for self-designed courses and the sequence of lessons the student studied.
For those working with Maureen Martin, send the portfolio to:
120 Voter Hill Road,
P.O. Box 14,
Farmington, ME 04938
For all other advisors, send portfolios to:
attention: [your advisor]
14 S. 6th Ave.
Yakima, Washington 98902
If you are not sure who your advisor is, give us a call and we will be glad to help you.