At the end of the first marking period, TST P-TECH Academy held student-led conferences with all students’ families and P-TECH faculty.
The conferences give students a chance to share with their families what they have learned, what projects they have been working on and which professional and life skills they have been developing since starting the program in September. Together, along with teachers and acting P-TECH Academy principal Barry Derfel, they review the learning standards of P-TECH including the narrative style report card used in the program.
The meeting provides an opportunity to celebrate areas of success and to acknowledge and analyze concrete areas of challenge in order to set positive goals for moving forward. The TST P-TECH Academy uses a project-based approach to student learning and utilizes digital portfolios as part of their ongoing authentic assessment process. Portfolios document student projects and accomplishments throughout the year. Students and teachers both assess students’ proficiency and growth and then combine to create the narrative report card.
“The idea of assessing student learning by reviewing a portfolio of their work, together with the practice of collaborating with students and families to set goals for future learning, is a new process for most of our students and families,” Mr. Derfel said. “These face-to-face conferences with every family allow us a chance to explain this purpose behind this approach, and to continue deepening our family/school relationships.”