AUHSD introduces the Memoir Portfolio to Oxford

Anjali Suva, Senior Staff Writer

For the 2022-2023 school year, AUHSD introduced the Memoir Portfolio, a district-wide capstone project where students create a digital portfolio with projects completed throughout the year. To prepare their portfolios, students received instruction and will utilize cluster and connection periods to work on the project. On March 24, Oxford students across all grades will submit their portfolios to designated teachers, and eighth and twelfth-grade students specifically will have the opportunity to display their portfolios during “OA Capstone Days” at the end of the third quarter. 


The Memoir Portfolio, designed under the “ePortfolios” tab on eKadence, includes a personalized landing page and chapter pages. A continuously evolving project, each year at Oxford represents a different chapter of the portfolio.


Within the first semester of the school year, students are expected to continuously add projects within their portfolio as well as customize it to their liking. Students will finalize their landing page, goals for the year, 5C project reflections, and epilogue as the second semester progresses. Throughout the project’s progression, students will also receive accountability checks from specific classes to ensure participation. All of the information needed to complete it is available through students’ eKadence cluster pages, under a slideshow entitled The Oxford Memoir Portfolio


“It’s a way to put those reflections throughout the year into words. It’s a way to give a voice to the students,” said Mrs. Vosskuhler, Oxford’s 5C’s coach and the head of the project’s implementation. 


Proponents of the capstone project claim that it allows students to share their experiences with faculty and younger students to guide themselves through their own journeys. They also claim that it benefits students in writing college essays due to continuous reflection.


The capstone project is not new to Oxford. Years back, the project had taken the form of a large folder filled with resumes and reflections. It was later removed due to revisions that needed to be made, as a major criticism of the old project was that it was too work-heavy. 


Despite the revisions, opponents of the new portfolio project include students who claim it adds unnecessary stress to their workload. Seniors are especially worried about how this project will add to their already-busy schedules, filled with college applications and class-specific capstone projects. 


“The biggest criticism I’ve seen is that it’s busywork,” said Joseph Reyes, president of RSVP, in response to students’ opinions during RSVP’s summit. “As a senior, we’re already reflecting on our college applications and we’re going through such a hectic time that a lot of us don’t think we need that extra stress.”


From the district, hopes are high for this new initiative. As aptly stated by the informational presentation, “The Capstone is a promise to AUHSD students—the promise that we will deliver thoughtful, relevant, engaging experiences to prepare all students for meaningful, purposeful lives.”


Although students and admin have differing views on the Memoir Portfolio, it is staying for now. It’s up to students to make the most of their project and determine if it will truly benefit them in the long run. 


“It could look different next year based on what happens this year,” said Mrs. Vosskuhler regarding the memoir’s future. “That’s what growth is. The portfolio itself has to embrace that reflection and growth.”