State Showcase

The Virginia state showcase will take place on Thursday, June 2, 2011 at the state capitol in Richmond.  This year we will again be showcasing portfolios from across the state; in addition, we are also working with the Clerk's Office in both houses to offer Capitol and chamber tours.  For those interested in "making a day of it", we will help coordinate your visit to allow your students to see the showcase, take part in a hearing and to have both a Capitol and a chamber tour.  We will even provide lunch!

I order to do this, we need to know of your intent to participate as soon as possible.  Therefore, please complete the registration form below.

1.     Portfolios must address a public policy issue

The following elements must be present in the problem statement and the proposed class policy, as well be reflected in the action plan.

  • A government entity must be involved in carrying out its responsibilities; e.g., the local school board votes to install metal detectors in the district’s schools.

  • Public policy commitments are made and carried out by people who have been authorized to act in accordance with established norms and procedures; e.g., the state legislature is empowered to make laws governing the registration of motor vehicles; they in turn authorize the state department of motor vehicles to establish and carry out policies and procedures for auto registration.

  • Public policies reflect the commitment of public assets and direct the flow of resources that affect the public. These may be defined in terms of:

    • economic advantage (the city council votes to grant volunteer fire fighters a property tax exemption);
    • individual or group rights (if the school board opens school facilities for use by some outside groups, it may not arbitrarily deny that same right to others);
    • shifts in political power (state legislatures are empowered to use official census data to redraw congressional districts).

For example, if the city council approves a program to feed the homeless and authorizes the department of social services to use city resources to do so, it is public policy. When a local church conducts a food drive and distributes the food to indigent members in the same community, it is not public policy.

2. Eligibility

     A.  For portfolios originating in an academic setting, the class must

  • be from a 5th – 12th grade class (the majority of students must be in the age range of 10–18 years)

  • be constituted according to the school’s normal programming procedures;

  • be part of the school’s regular curriculum such as history/social science, language arts or other appropriate programmatic areas including, for example, special education and gifted and talented education;

  • be designated on the school’s master program (schedule of class offerings);

  • meet during regular hours;

  • have all enrollees listed in the teacher’s record book.

**It is understood that many schools employ flexible scheduling methods, including the use of “advisory periods.” The criteria listed above do not restrict participation by such classes.

     B. For portfolios originating in extracurricular or youth organization settings, the group must

    • include a majority of students in the age range of 10–18 years;

    • be affiliated with a sanctioned school-based program (i.e., after school clubs,

      organizations, or child care programs);

    • be from a nonprofit community-based youth program (i.e., 4-H, Boys and Girls

      Schools, YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs, etc.).

         C. Additional considerations

    Portfolios developed by a group of students that does not fall into either of the two categories above are not eligible to represent the state in the Project Citizen Virginia State Showcase event.

    Portfolios developed by an individual student are never eligible to represent the state in the Project Citizen Virginia State Showcase event.

    The criteria do not restrict participation of students working in a home school consortium recognized by the local education agency.

    3.  Portfolio components and size

    Portfolios must include both a display and documentation component and meet the prescribed size regulations.

         A. For middle school (grades 5-8) classes, the display component consists of:

      • four (4) panels of poster board, foam-core board, or the equivalent with each
        panel being no larger than 32” wide x 40” high; each of the four groups in
        the class will have one panel to display their work; each panel should include

        • a written summary of the required topics for the group’s section
        • graphic illustrations for the section
        • identification of the sources used for the information in this section

           B. For high school (grades 9-12) classes, the display component may consists ofeither the same boards as the middle school, or:

        • A PowerPoint presentation, Wikispace website or other electronic means used in place of the boards.  The electronic component, must still include:

          • a written summary of the required topics for the group’s section
          • graphic illustrations for the section
          • identification of the sources used for the information in this section

             C. Documentation component (required for all grade levels) consists of:

          • five (5) sections contained in a single three-ring binder no larger than 2” thick,

            each section separated by a divider

          • an overall table of contents as well as tables of contents for each section

          • copies of the most important information each group has gathered which best

            documents or gives evidence of their research

          • a final section that contains the class’s evaluation and reflection on their


               D. Other dimensional specifications

            • Items projecting from the panel surface are not permissible; panels must be one-

              dimensional and allow for flat folding (e.g., a soda can attached to the panel is not allowable, but the typed two-page summary may be affixed to the panel with one sheet on top of the other)

            • Content material must be confined to the inner dimensions of the four panels (items may not extend beyond the edge of the board). All material must be securely attached to the panels: if an item detaches from the panel it may be impossible to replace it in the proper position

            • Each sheet in the documentation folder must be numbered at the bottom center to enable staff to replace it in the appropriate section should it come loose from the binder

              Labeling and submission of portfolios

            • Each of the four panels and the documentation binder must be clearly marked to identify the teacher, school, and contact information. Provided labels should be affixed to the back of each panel and to the inside cover of the documentation binder

            • All portfolios must arrive at the State Capitol no later than June 1, 2011.

            State Showcase Resources

            Evaluator Guidelines for the Simulated Hearing [PDF]

            Hearing Evaluation Rating Sheet [PDF]

            Class Roster [PDF]

            Portfolio Labels [DOC]

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