Information on the upcoming school year and support for the college application process was shared with parents and students in the Class of 2020 on Tuesday, May 28. While this information was especially focused on the needs of the Class of 2020, all parents and students may find it helpful.
We are leveraging the principles of PBL to enhance student’s learning and college readiness. We have been working hard to ensure that Stowe High School’s school profile, transcript, and reports meet the needs of colleges and universities.
Additional details are provided below and you can also see the powerpoint for an overview of the information shared. We encourage everyone to complete a brief survey which includes the opportunity for additional questions and feedback.
The 2019-2020 Year
Information about the SHS schedule was also shared. For 2019-2020, the school day will start, as it always has at 8:00 a.m. but will end eight minutes later, at 2:43 p.m. This extra time in the day will allow students more time between classes to check in with teachers and will allow for two 40 minute TA/Flex periods. Time for TA/Flex ensures that students have support with all of their responsibilities as learners, including successful completion of Anagnorisis, and it provides time for students and teachers to work together on areas where a student might need more instruction or time to demonstrate proficiency. Another highlight of the schedule is that band and chorus is scheduled during first period and opposite only courses that are offered multiple times in the day. This ensures that students do not have to choose between music and other courses that are offered only once, such as an AP course. All students should receive their individual schedules by the middle of next week.
The SHS Senior College Planning Monthly Checklist (2019-2020) was reviewed. This information is posted on the School Counseling page of the SHS website and is shared, along with many other resources, in the Documents folder in Naviance. Students are encouraged to revisit the current year’s checklist and look ahead to the recommended process for the upcoming year.
Tools and Forms
An updated sample student transcript was shared. A student’s transcript is intended to reflect the individual student’s academic record. SHS’s transcript was developed based on a thorough review of research, best practice, and study of highly regarded models from across the nation. The development of the transcript has been informed by feedback from colleges and universities from Vermont and across the nation, as well as parents. College admissions officers have told us that the SHS transcript is exemplary. The transcript is in the final stages of polish, including the addition of a GPA conversion chart to the transcript. Student transcripts should be available for review, if desired, as we return to school in the fall.
The updated School Profile was also shared. The School Profile provides information about the learning opportunities and expectations at SHS, which can help colleges and universities consider the context for evaluating an individual student’s academic achievement. As we make the shift to proficiency-based practices for learning, it is important that the School Profile clearly communicate these shifts, especially for grading and feedback.
Colleges also like to see students’ first and/or second quarter report card. It is important to show that seniors are continuing to challenge themselves academically, work hard, and perform well during their senior year. Based on feedback from admissions officers, we are confident that our Mastery Report provides the information needed. We will send the students Mastery Report with a cover letter (sample) and an annotated Mastery Report. The Mastery Report provides colleges the needed information regarding how a student is doing, as well as information about areas where a student is excelling specifically and information about a student’s demonstration of Scholarly Habits.
In response to feedback from parents, we are also offering an alternative to the Mastery Report for reporting to colleges, a Mastery Report Summary. (***Note that the GPA has been recalculated on the online version to accurately reflect the GPA for the model presented.***) The Mastery Report Summary lists a senior’s courses on one page, provides information on the numbers of proficiency a student is on, above or below target, and projects a year end GPA for the student. At the end of the first quarter, seniors and their parents will be provided both the Mastery Report and the Mastery Report Summary and should notify Patti Tomashot and the Senior TA Advisor, Don McDowell, if they’d like the Mastery Report Summary sent in lieu of the Mastery Report.
Supports from Teachers
Members of the faculty and administration present included SHS’s leadership team, Tegan Garon, Mairead Harris, Ana Schafer, Norm Williams, Don McDowell, Sarah Horton, Gaelan Chutter-Ames, John Kennedy, Hunter Hague, Kaaren Meyer, and Patti Tomashot. Also supporting were John Meyer, Director of Technology, Maura Wieler, Proficiency-Based Learning and Technology Integration Coach, Valerie Sullivan, Director of Curriculum, and Tracy Wrend, Superintendent. Those present, as well as those from the faculty and administration who were unable to attend, share a commitment to supporting students in a successful school year and college application process.
Gretchen Muller, SHS’s incoming principal, and Abbey Allen, our incoming School Counselor and SAP, were also present to listen and learn and show their commitment to understanding the priorities and needs of our students and their families.
Seniors have support as part of their senior English classes with college essay writing. Even after the course assignment has been completed, teachers are committed to supporting students as needed with further revision, modifications to suit particular prompts, or unique essay prompts for colleges and universities that use questions other than those on the common application.
Teachers, including those who are retiring, are committed to supporting a student with letters of reference. The faculty knows students well and can advocate for each student’s unique strengths, including about a student’s scholarly habits.
SHS’s TA process is an important time for supporting students with navigating the requirements of the school year. Don McDowell will be continuing part-time at SHS, sharing some teaching responsibilities with Jessica Wells, and serving in a special role for the Class of 2020, the Senior TA Advisor. As the Senior TA advisor, Mr. McDowell will be working with all TAs to support students and their TA throughout the senior year.
Feedback Is Welcome
Whether or not you were able to attend the meeting, we’d appreciate hearing from you! We value your questions and suggestions and ask that you complete a brief survey by June 14.