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Indicator ST1.5

Indicator ST1.5: Students demonstrate their learning through performance-based assessments and express their conclusions through elaborated explanations of their thinking.

Rating: 4

Narrative: All Spring Valley High School students have multiple opportunities to demonstrate their STEM learning to a range of stakeholders within and outside of the school. This is done via a variety of problem based learning experiences, inquiry based lessons, laboratory experiments, simulations, investigations, written and oral responses, exhibitions, journals and portfolios. Students across all levels have the opportunity to be assessed based upon proficiencies and performances and have the ability to showcase their thinking, learning and conclusions.  Advanced Placement Biology students present their findings on cancer research to invited guests, allowing them to demonstrate their thinking and learning and their ability to effectively communicate this information to an audience. For Discovery students, the Research Symposium, Junior Science and Humanities Symposium, South Carolina Junior Academy of Sciences, and the University of South Carolina Regional Science Fair all serve as an exhibition of the learning and conclusions arrived at by students through their laboratory experiments, investigations, and written and oral responses. 
Career and Technology Education (CATE) students demonstrate STEM learning through performance based assessments such as the National Restaurant Association Food Handler Exam, Skills USA competencies, and Health Science Clinical Internships. Although this is only their second year in competition, our Vex Robotics team has been very successful, demonstrating not only their understanding of engineering principles, but also of teamwork and collaboration. Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) students compete at both the state and national level demonstrating their proficiency in health professions, emergency preparedness, leadership, and teamwork. Students in the entrepreneur class created detailed business plans and competed for an opportunity to move on to the state level competition.
We encourage appropriate performance-based assessments for all students, including special needs self-contained children. In celebration of Women’s History month each year, mild intellectual self-contained students present short vignettes personifying great women in history to parents and invited guests. On Valentine’s Day, school administrators were invited to join parents and their autistic students for Parent Appreciation Day. Each student presented his or her parent with a nicely framed piece of his or her artwork created with the help of Art for Kids Hub (You Tube). After the presentation parents will have an opportunity to use Art for Kids Hub with their child in the classroom.
Just as scientists must back up claims with data, English students all levels write essays in which they must support their claims with evidence. All students are eligible to submit original writing and visual art for publication in Ablaze Art and Literary Magazine, our student-run print magazine. Teacher Cadets participate in field experience internships and create portfolios that document their experiences as learners as they showcase their reflections and conclusions on their learning in the form of a weekly blog. Explorations Magnet students complete internships and a final written and oral presentation to share their internship experiences. AP Calculus BC students make webpages with a video demonstrating free response questions as a review for the AP Exam. Anatomy students create public service announcement videos to bring awareness to health concerns. Working in small groups, students in American Studies were assigned to complete research to create “The Founding Father Rap,” record it, and create a video that embedded the sound and visually represented the lyrics and founding father.
STEM learning is also evident in our Fine Arts classes, where students regularly demonstrate proficiencies via performance benchmarks, ending in a final display of their thinking and learning as they participate in exhibitions, performances and competitions; as a list of this year’s accolades shows, our students have been very successful in demonstrating their learning through performance tasks. For example, in every performance, Viking Band students demonstrate not only musical and performance knowledge, but also important workplace skills: collaboration, teamwork, perseverance, work ethic, self-direction, and interpersonal skills.