The academic situation of each of the school’s students corresponds to the peculiarity of each student, precisely, so what we do is first, inform the families about the school model we have, the conversation model we have with students and the model of possible decisions students can make in connection with academic matters. And we tell them we’ll keep them posted about their situation and the choice made by each student in each of the year’s terms.
Presenting the academic situation of the trajectory to the families, showing them a map of where students are at is hard to do, because sometimes families, the responsible adults have a hard time understanding this, as they are familiarized—possibly—with a different school model, in the event that they have a different school model, and they find it very hard to understand the map. They keep checking how far off they are from the final goal. And the work we do is identifying all that the student has done up to the moment we “take that photo”, because the perspective is completely different if you look at everything they have done versus how long they still have to go.
In general, students don’t have problems understanding this. But well, it has to do with the fact that it’s the daily work we do with them all the time at school. That’s why it’s much easier for students to understand this right away than it is for their families.
In the context of the pandemic, for instance, it was very hard for us to work with some of the families to inform them about this, especially with the families of the students who entered the school in 2020, as they didn’t go to school; that part was missing for them. So, in those cases what we do is have a meeting to show the responsible adult the map we have for each student. It’s better with in-person meetings, but in this context, it can be a video call, a Zoom or a Meet meeting.
We have put together on a screen the journey, or better said, the sample of all the curricular spaces a student has to take in order to graduate from either one of the two modalities, or specializations the school has. Specifically, we paint in green the subjects as the student completes them. The map has arrows that indicate the subject correlation scheme, and the subjects are painted green as the student completes them.
We use a different color to identify the subjects the student is taking at the moment and a third color for the subjects that the student took and didn’t complete. So, when we present this to the responsible adult, they clearly identify the path taken by the student up until that moment, what situation they’re in and what would be convenient to take next. And when I say “convenient” it’s because we can identify this, but the student has a say and their choice is very important to us.
There are students who, at a certain moment, when they’re well positioned to take eight curriculum units—eight subjects—, for various reasons, decide to take only five, and we support this decision, because we think that inasmuch as they decide what courses to take, the responsibility they take on is different. This has given us very good results.
And in some cases we also evaluate— We’ve had students that, with the best intentions to move forward fast, choose to take more than five subjects, so then we have a conversation with the student and suggest that because of their circumstances it would be convenient, maybe, to take a lower number, based on their history at school.
But, again, it’s the student’s choice. In any case, we are here to accompany that decision, to mark out various possible paths, so that the choice they make is the most convenient and they are convinced of what they are choosing.