What Even Is A Portfolio?

Jonathan Ramos, Staff Writer

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In order to graduate from RHS, you need to pass the state exam (MCAS), advisory, complete your community service hours, and assemble a capstone portfolio project. A capstone portfolio project requires that you upload 4 entries to the Student Growth website that consist of completed work from any class that demonstrates personal and academic growth. Basically, you can submit any assignment that you felt represents your best work or has some higher significant meaning to you.                                        


The problem is, there are too many things wrong with this requirement. Before the Student Growth website, it was Richer Picture, which was a glitchy site that wouldn’t save half the entries submitted there. Not only that, you needed to write paragraphs, which was honestly mostly bs, about how this assignment “changed” our lives. It would be some ordinary assignment like a basic worksheet that people would upload just to get the thing over with.


People were also submitting these entries all at the last minute. Portfolios were very loosely enforced until near the end of the school year where the advisory teachers would tell us to submit anything. They were mostly forgotten until people realized that they needed to get 4 entries submitted by the end of year, causing them to rush it and submit 4 random assignments that they claim impacted their lives, defeating the purpose of portfolios. In reality, portfolios are so insignificant that if they were removed, people wouldn’t remember that we had them to begin with.

There’s also the fact that teachers and principals don’t check to see if they are full of content or even well written, only that it is completed. As long as it is completed, it is deemed passable, meaning you may as well write a single sentence and they wouldn’t know any better.


Not only is the Capstone Project utterly pointless, it is surrounded by a shroud of miscommunication and a lack of information. For example, I wasn’t aware that we had a new website for portfolios until an assembly in about November where it was briefly discussed, amongst other issues. And then, as usual, it was forgotten by everyone and there wasn’t a single mention of it by advisory teachers.


I attempted to find the link for the new website in my email to no avail, and ended up having to find the presentation given to us at the assembly, which contained the link. I opened it and tried to log in, but I was redirected too many times and the site told me to try clearing my cookies. I then did so for the last 24 hours, the past week, the past 4 weeks, and all time and all my login attempts were unsuccessful. I tried opening the link on my phone, and the same issue occurred. So far, so good. I asked another student if they could open it on their phone, and for some reason it worked for them. However, no matter what button or icon we clicked, nothing on the site worked. Ironically, the only thing that worked is the logout button.


If we are going to be forced to create a meaningless portfolio, the least the school can do is find a stable website for us to make it on. If anything, portfolios should be optional. The only use I can see for it is for someone pursuing a career in art that wants to get into a good college. If anything, I would hope colleges wouldn’t look at portfolios. There’s not that many school assignments that we do that have some sort of lasting impact that RHS seems to expect for us to receive. The only thing you’ll find on a portfolio is a few nicely worded paragraphs of bs about a random assignment.