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June 2020 Gateways FAQs

June 2020 Gateways FAQs

Will we be doing gateways this June?

Yes!  If you were headed towards a June gateway as of March 2020, then we hope you will keep working towards your gateway goals this spring.  This FAQ document contains more answers to a lot of the questions you might ask about gateways in Spring 2020.  Keep reading!

What does it mean to be a “gateway-eligible” student?

Throughout this document, we will use the term “gateway-eligible” student.  This means a student who was actively working towards a June gateway this year prior to March 15.  (Why March 15?  Because that is when we transitioned to Home Learning.)  When you gateway will be based on your choices over these next few months.  The term “gateway-eligible” is used to clarify that the guidance in this document is specifically for those students who were working towards a June gateway prior to March 15. 

What about students who were not planning on a June 2020 gateway?

Students who are not “gateway-eligible” are simply those students who were not already working towards a June 2020 gateway prior to March 15.  This is the majority of our students!  Regardless of gateway status, we hope that all students will continue to learn and make progress with their skills by engaging with their Home Learning classes.  Teachers will continue to provide opportunities to learn, practice, and build mastery of skills.  At the upcoming PLPs (see PLP FAQs), all students will be asked to set individual goals for their learning and engagement for the rest of this school year

Why are we still doing gateways?

It is our intention to act in abundant good faith on behalf of student learning and progress while balancing both the extraordinary situation that students are facing and Parker’s core principles, including performance-based promotion.  In a school founded on the concept of evidence-based learning, readiness to move to the next division of study is shown through skills-based portfolios.  Therefore, we will still expect gatewaying students to complete portfolio-eligible work that shows they can consistently meet the standards of the division.  Some requirements for those portfolios may be revised for Spring 2020 (see below).  While we cannot guarantee student success or engagement, teachers are committed, ready, and available to support all students who would like to make progress this spring!

What if circumstances are preventing me from doing my school work right now? Does this mean I can’t gateway?

Our essential principle of “moving at your own pace” has never been more true – each gateway-eligible student (with family and teacher consultation) needs to determine how much of a priority a June gateway is for them right now.  We recognize the extenuating circumstances of this spring and encourage students and families to be in communication with the school so that we know what academic goals and expectations are reasonable given each family’s individual circumstances.  If engaging in meaningful ways with school work is not possible for you at this time, we will discuss alternative timelines with you.  We seek to support students by providing clarity about expectations and multiple timelines to achieve those expectations.  If a June gateway goal was already in the works for a student, we will clearly communicate what is required to reach that goal.  However, if a student is not able to complete the work outlined in the gateway agreement by June, we have the option of revising the gateway agreement timeline to include independent summer work that would allow a student to achieve an August gateway (and be ready to enter the next division at the start of the new school year).  Some students might decide that, given current circumstances, their preferred option is to delay their gateway until next January.  It is our intention to work with students (and families) to help you determine what “moving at your own pace” means for you this spring.

How will I know what I have to do to gateway?

Mostly, the short answer is – keep doing the work and respond to the feedback your teachers are giving you in your classes!  As we said, it is our hope and plan that gateway-eligible students will continue to work towards the June gateway.  In any domain where you are gateway-eligible, you will receive an individualized gateway agreement from the relevant domain teacher on or about April 16.  The goal of this document is to clearly communicate with each gateway-eligible student (and their family/advisor) about what you will need to do this spring to complete your gateway portfolio.  Your teacher will be in touch with you with more details next week!  If you are not sure if you are gateway-eligible, you can certainly email the relevant teacher to ask.

Will the portfolio requirements be the same as they were before March 15?

Gatewaying has NEVER been about acquiring a certain number of pieces.  Though “numbers of pieces” are sometimes used in conversation with students to help give shape to the gateway expectations, gatewaying has always been about a student showing habits and skills, as demonstrated through skill-area pieces (and proficiencies in Div 2 MST and Spanish), that are consistently meeting standardsThis spring, we will continue to value the holistic overall progress and skill attainment of a student relative to the standards in the division/domain.  The individualized gateway agreements that will go out the week of April 13 will outline realistic goals for how you can show that you are consistently meeting standards (or achieving Spanish proficiency level) given our current circumstances. 

Will there still be gateway portfolios and gateway exhibitions?

We intend to honor the spirit of gateway portfolios and gateway exhibitions.  At the same time, we know that some of these traditions will have to be altered this spring.  We are working on developing what these plans might look like, so stay tuned for specifics.  You can assume that there will be some sort of online gateway exhibition that will ask you to share and celebrate your learning with your (virtually) invited guests.  However, you should also expect that gateway portfolios and exhibitions will look different this year than they have in the past.  We will get you details when we have them!

In Division 2, will we still have gateway projects as part of the gateway requirements?

This answer is similar to the question above.  We intend to honor the spirit of gateway projects and showcasing new learning as part of the Div 2 gateway experience, while we also know that they may need to be significantly altered and/or scaled back given the constraints we all are facing.  Details to come; try not to worry about these details yet!

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