State mandated graduation requirement commences with Class of 2023
Semester-based submissions of completed work aim to help students organize their accomplishments and earn the Mastery Based Diploma Assessment (MBDA) credit. This is an open ended student driven credit which can be fulfilled through artifacts such as lab reports, research projects, outside organizational work, and more.
“Breaking it [yearly submissions] down into two very manageable pieces will help students and advisors,” counselor Emily Cacace said when explaining artifact submission. The state mandated that the MBDA starts with the Class of 2023, and it will function for each graduating class thereafter as a required credit.
Seniors will upload two artifacts this semester through Naviance and a reflection next semester which will include feedback of the program to assist the administration in solidifying requirements. Juniors will submit two artifacts each semester and a final reflection their last semester. Sophomores and freshmen will be phased into the program in the same way.
The state mandate looks different across districts. Some schools are more prepared than others to introduce the program. ELHS comfortably includes the credit in built-in advisory time as the school is geared toward producing college-ready graduates.
Artifacts should display a student’s mastery of effective communication, productive collaboration, community contribution, and deep thinking and active learning.
“I’m hoping it has a productive and reflective outcome for students to see less tangible skills and things they’ve gained along the way,” Ms. Cacace said. The last outcome the administration wants is to create more stress for students.
Students will tailor artifacts to their interests and what they have worked on, like community services or volunteering.
“We are still working on clearly defining all of the different ways you can demonstrate mastery of these components of the Vision of the Graduate, but at this point, since we are building this as we go, we want to see what students upload,” Assistant Principal Henry Kydd said. The program’s goal at ELHS is for students to gain an understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. Unfortunately, this message hasn’t been clearly received by students.
“I don’t understand it or the point. The only thing I know is that we need it to graduate,” junior Gabby Gottschall said. Gottschall’s opinion reflects the student body’s partial understanding of the program.
Students only know of the two necessary artifact submissions per semester from the presentation shown on Oct. 4 advisory.
“The idea is for students to connect their coursework to real world skills,” Mr. Kydd said. He hopes that with time teachers will incorporate the Viking Voyage into coursework and identify projects that align with the program. Artifacts should connect how students’ work and activities shape them into productive citizens, following the Vision of the Graduate.