At Manchester High School we are experimenting with an embedded reflection process that is designed to engage students in ongoing commentary about their growth toward the MHS Vision of a Graduate. The student profile is summarized through a “Resume” document that asks students to document their personalized narrative and learning path in four distinct areas:
- Vision for their future
- Strengths as aligned with our Vision of a Graduate’s Cross-Disciplinary Capacities
- Activities and experiences that practice and demonstrate Contribution to Community
- Connection to MHS Adults
This was our first year learning from this process and collecting baseline data. In January we reviewed and provided feedback to over 1000 resumes. During the second semester we are working on creating more explicit connections between classroom-based projects and specific Cross-Disciplinary Capacities.
We plan to continue to collect data to monitor our progress as we explore these questions:
- How can we better support all students in accessing the myriad of programs and offerings at MHS?
- How can we embed opportunities for students to reflect on their growth toward our Vision of a Graduate?
- Is every child truly seen and known by adults in our school?
- How connected is every student to our programs and offerings?
- How can we improve the explicit connections between the learning in our courses and our Cross-Disciplinary Capacities?
- How well does our curriculum provide opportunity for students to practice and improve Cross-Disciplinary Capacities?
Our initial data and experiences have revealed significant struggle for students as they attempt to speak to their own strengths from our Cross-Disciplinary Capacities. Given this struggle with identifying areas of strength we now better understand the mindset shift that will be necessary for all stakeholders to operate through a strengths-based lens. Our hope is that by actively listening and deeply knowing our students we will instill a confidence in them so they may better articulate their strengths and provide evidence through work samples and stories. This evidence will be the culmination of a variety of high school experiences - academic, academy-based, extra-curricular, work-based and experiential. We plan to engage students in a process that leads to increased understanding of themselves as learners, people and citizens.
Our learning this year has been significant and we continue to work hard to avoid creation of a system that is authentic and flexible enough to meet the needs of our very diverse population of learners. We will engage students in a four year process in which they work shoulder-to-shoulder with adults to actualize our vision - to graduate students who “value all educational opportunities; remain in school; and graduate with optimism and confidence in their choices.”
Matthew Geary | email@example.com | (860) 647-3441
- College & Career Ready