How do we help kids know what we mean by high standards and good work? The most important part of the portfolio and graduation process that we're using here... is it helps make visible to kids the values of the school, and its definition of what an educated person that age should look like and be able to do."

-Deborah Meier, Mission Hill School founder and co-principal

Mission Hill School
Heidi Lyne, Mission Hill School

with Desiree Pointer, Thomas Hatch, and Toru Iiyoshi
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

During the critical transition years between childhood and high school, young people need schools that share certain characteristics. First of all, they should be schools where young people work in small groups with a small number of adults who know them well. Second, students need to experience high and rigorous academic expectations. Third, they need to see the connections between academic work and the work that takes place outside of the classroom. Fourth, they need opportunities to explore the world in authentic and engaged ways – through music, dance, theater, visual arts and outdoor education. And finally, students should have opportunities to make their own positive individual and collective mark on their environment – to be useful to others. Graduation from our school is a process that incorporates all of these opportunities and expectations. But how do we measure students' accomplishments and gauge their knowledge?

This website is built around a central documentary video about the portfolio and graduation process at Mission Hill School. Click on the photos above to jump directly to those sections of the film. To see an outline of the project and associated materials, and to view the video in its entirety, click here.

Portfolio Process Overview (PDF)Examples of Student Work • "Redemption:" Narrative by Heidi Lyne (PDF)

Supplementary Videos: Akwasi's Portfolio PresentationRebeca's Initial Presentation JudgingRebeca's Redo

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