It’s been a long, winding road, but the end is coming into sight for Lake Cowichan School’s class of 2016. On Jan. 15, Grade 12 students participated in the first of two Portfolio Days — an opportunity to sit down and share their journey thus far with a notable member of the lake community.
“It’s sort of a celebration of their learning,” said teacher and portfolio day coordinator Noni Battye. “It’s their chance to show off what they’re good at and where they’re going. And it’s kind of a neat way to wrap up their schooling.”
Students have the option of participating in Portfolio Day in January or May, but must choose one as the activity is mandatory for graduation. They are paired up with someone from the community and spend 15 minutes sharing a little bit about who they are, their interests, and what have been some of the important milestones in their life.
“Some of [the portfolios] are scrapbooks. Some are PowerPoints that they’ve pulled together. Things like that,” said Battye.
Plans for the future are also an important topic of discussion during these exit interviews, for which a teacher supervisor is also present. The community member has an opportunity to ask questions or provide insight and advice.
Grade 12 student Chase Convery said although the activity was a little daunting at the outset, it ended up being easier than he expected.
“It was not as long as I thought it was going to be,” he said. “It helps me realize that high school’s ending and I have to kind of pick it up. Just figure out how to live, I guess.”
Convery plans to study computer science, and has already received a conditional acceptance at Vancouver Island University. It was because of this interest in computers and technology that Convery chose to share his life story through a PowerPoint presentation on a laptop he brought with him to the interview.
“And so that I could pull up the website,” he adding, referring to a website he is building for the school’s upcoming mural project.
His classmate, Isabella Kuta, brought in a “memory board” of photos and clippings she’s collected over the years.
“I thought it would be perfect for a portfolio,” she said.
After graduation, Kuta plans to get her bachelor of science degree and eventually pursue medicine through the University of Victoria’s Island Medical Program. She said she found portfolio day a helpful exercise.
“It was really nice to get to share everything about myself and hopefully I can make more memories like this in the future,” she said.
Kuta had presented her portfolio to retired RCMP officer Larry Olson, who was participating in the activity for his third time.
“It’s nice working with the youth,” he said. “I enjoy seeing where the students are at and seeing what their future plans are.”
Olson said he tells students not to get discouraged in pursuit of their dreams.
“It’s going to seem like it takes a long time to get where you want to — like it’s a long process — but it goes quick,” he said.