City student portfolios target student goals

By Denise Dick


An addition to the city school curriculum will help students aim more pointedly on their careers and college goals.

The school board, at the recommendation of its curriculum committee, has adopted the addition of senior portfolios to the high school plan.

“I sat on two scholarship committees and the Youngstown City School students who had applied, their scholarship applications were not as competitive as they should be,” said Marcia Haire-Ellis, the school board member who is chairwoman of the curriculum committee.

One of those scholarship panels reviewed applications from across the state, allowing her to see what was submitted from students from school districts all over Ohio, she said. Some almost had a format that they followed that may have given them an advantage, Haire-Ellis said.

The curriculum committee, which also includes Jacqueline Adair and Jerome Williams, recommended that a group be formed including teachers and counselors and two board members beginning in late August to determine the content and time line for the senior portfolios.

Haire-Ellis said the board wants to gather input from personnel in the schools to determine how the portfolios should be structured.

“The upcoming school year will be used to implement a pilot program followed by instituting in 2015-16,” the recommendation read.

Douglas Hiscox, deputy superintendent for academic affairs, said that the district would add the portfolios to the curriculum.

Haire-Ellis commended the curriculum department for its work the past few years to ensure students in the same grade throughout the district are working on the same things.

That information is available online on the district’s website, and she wants the senior portfolios to be added.

A few years ago, a career passport was part of the push from the then-state superintendent’s office, but it went away with the change in administration.

“They help students focus on exactly what they want to do,” Haire-Ellis said.

Whether students go to college or secure jobs after graduation, the career portfolio will allow them to see the steps they need to follow to get there.

“This will help them focus on what they plan to do after graduating from high school,” Haire-Ellis said.

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