Hybrid, online, home school and seat-based learning options available.
Check the website of your school of interest for available options during COVID-19.

iLEAD-SCVi Seniors Share Learning, Reflections in Senior Defense Presentations


One of the greatest forms of higher-order thinking and learning is metacognition or thinking about thinking. This includes planning, monitoring and assessing one’s understanding and performance. These reflective processes are especially important in project work, as learners must decide what strategies to use and how to use them. At iLEAD-SCVi, seniors demonstrate metacognition through their Senior Portfolio Defense Presentations.

Because sites were closed due to COVID-19, this year learners gave their Senior Portfolio Defense Presentations virtually. However, the presentations this year were as powerful as ever and had a significant impact on the seniors, their advisors and evaluators, according to SCVi Senior Defense Coordinator Cheryl Sena. 

iLEAD sets out to create a learning environment where learners take responsibility for their education and reflect often on their own academic, social and emotional development. During the 2017-2018 school year, iLEAD-SCVi introduced Senior Portfolio Defense Presentations to their annual schedule.

“This seemed like the next step for our seniors,” Sena said. “The first year, we had the seniors present their defense to their advisory groups. Last year, the staff received training at another school that requires senior defenses as part of their graduation requirements.”

 SCVi incorporated the Senior Portfolio Defense Presentations into their schedule as a means to extend and build upon the Learner Showcase that all learners participate in from grades TK-12. Through the culminating presentation of the Senior Portfolio Defense, the learners’ years of experience become apparent. 

Sena and her team are very proud of SCVi’s seniors, their accumulation portfolio of work and their ability to articulate what they have learned during their tenure at SCVi. She said this process is relevant to them as learners and to their future endeavors. 

“This is how they learn to articulate their skills, challenges and how to present themselves to others — in a job interview and beyond,” Sena said. “Regardless of your education and career plans, it’s essential to be able to articulate what you can do and how it applies to any situation.”

The Senior Defense Presentation is a capstone project that extends well beyond the actual presentation, according to Sena. Seniors must also produce a digital leadership notebook, present an artifact or project that demonstrates the learning, and meet requirements of a detailed rubric. The Senior Portfolio Defense Rubric addresses mastery of knowledge, application of knowledge, metacognition and presentation. Seniors work with facilitators in both preparing and delivering the defense. Additionally, they connect their work to one of our iLEAD Learner Outcomes, which are as follows: college and career readiness, critical thinking, self-control, intrapersonal and interpersonal growth, intellectual curiosity, academic engagement, purpose, growth mind-set, social intelligence, grit, gratitude, zest, optimism.

Seniors from the Class of 2020 shared diverse, unique and powerful reflections. 

Kiara Gallegos, for example, focused on how SCVi helped her build grit, which she plans to use in her future as she majors in pre-med at Biola University. She plans to then further her studies at medical school to become an OBGYN and, ultimately, to help women in impoverished countries.

Another senior, Gabriel Flores, also exhibited grit to achieve the goal of exhibiting artworks for IB Art.

Another learner reflected on his own insecurities and discomfort taking risks. He noted that confidence wasn’t something he organically had, but he developed courage by facing his fears and doing the “hard stuff.”

SCVi facilitator Benjamin Williams, who teaches humanities and IB history/economics, said he enjoys the process of seeing learners connect to the purpose and application of learning.

“The learners realize this is an opportunity to articulate the main lessons school has provided them as they prepare for their next steps,” Williams said. “It’s an especially powerful process to watch some of these learners we’ve known since their freshmen year grow into leaders who are ready to take on their next challenges.”

Witnessing learners’ growth throughout high school is one of the many reasons SCVi facilitator Jodi Blinn, who teaches 9th and 10th graders, loves being a senior defense evaluator. 

“This is an opportunity for me to experience and reflect on the amazing growth and maturity these learners have achieved in their four years,” Blinn said. “They astound and humble me.”

This impactful experience is not reserved for SCVi facilitators. Community members and professionals are invited to be evaluators as well. 

Career Consultant April Grossinger, who has also been an SCVi parent since its inception, participated as an evaluator this year. She said, “Watching these young people articulate specific milestones in their educational careers filled with me a sense of pride and gratitude that SCVi exists. Each presenter was unique, and each focused on such different experiences. It was deeply moving and a true testament to the idea of giving learners voice and choice.” 

As a facilitator, Sena appreciates witnessing each learner’s culminating reflection of their high school journey. 

“I love seeing each senior and how they got this far,” Sena said. “Watching their ‘ahas’ about how their learning is directly impacting their next steps in life is amazingly powerful,” Sena said. 

To see a Senior Portfolio Defense Presentation example, see iLEAD SCVi Senior Kiara Gallegos’ Senior Defense Presentation.


Posted on June 8, 2020 in iLEAD Digest

Share the Story

About the Author

Michael Niehoff is a teacher, leader, blogger, learner advocate, and the Education Content Coordinator at iLEAD Schools.
Back to Top

Effective date: August 29, 2019

Maker Learning Network (“us”, “we”, or “our”) operates the https://ileadschools.org/ website (the “Service”).

This page informs you of our policies regarding the collection, use and disclosure of personal data when you use our Service and the choices you have associated with that data.

We use your data to provide and improve the Service. By using the Service, you agree to the collection and use of information in accordance with this policy. Unless otherwise defined in this Privacy Policy, the terms used in this Privacy Policy have the same meanings as in our Terms and Conditions, accessible from the Service.

Information Collection and Use

We collect several different types of information for various purposes to provide and improve our Service to you.

Types of Data Collected

Personal Data

While using our Service, we may ask you to provide us with certain personally identifiable information that can be used to contact or identify you (“Personal Data”). Personally identifiable information may include, but is not limited to:

We may use your Personal Data to contact you with newsletters, marketing or promotional materials and other information that may be of interest to you. You may opt out of receiving any, or all, of these communications from us by following the unsubscribe link or the instructions provided in any email we send.

Usage Data

We may also collect information on how the Service is accessed and used (“Usage Data”). This Usage Data may include information such as your computer’s Internet Protocol address (e.g. IP address), browser type, browser version, the pages of our Service that you visit, the time and date of your visit, the time spent on those pages, unique device identifiers and other diagnostic data.

Tracking & Cookies Data

We use cookies and similar tracking technologies to track the activity on our Service and we hold certain information.

Cookies are files with a small amount of data which may include an anonymous unique identifier. Cookies are sent to your browser from a website and stored on your device. Other tracking technologies are also used such as beacons, tags and scripts to collect and track information and to improve and analyse our Service.

You can instruct your browser to refuse all cookies or to indicate when a cookie is being sent. However, if you do not accept cookies, you may not be able to use some portions of our Service.

Examples of Cookies we use:

Use of Data

Maker Learning Network uses the collected data for various purposes:

Legal Basis for Processing Personal Data under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

If you are from the European Economic Area (EEA), Maker Learning Network legal basis for collecting and using the personal information described in this Privacy Policy depends on the Personal Data we collect and the specific context in which we collect it.

Maker Learning Network  may process your Personal Data because:

Retention of Data

Maker Learning Network will retain your Personal Data only for as long as is necessary for the purposes set out in this Privacy Policy. We will retain and use your Personal Data to the extent necessary to comply with our legal obligations (for example, if we are required to retain your data to comply with applicable laws), resolve disputes and enforce our legal agreements and policies.

Maker Learning Network will also retain Usage Data for internal analysis purposes. Usage Data is generally retained for a shorter period of time, except when this data is used to strengthen the security or to improve the functionality of our Service, or we are legally obligated to retain this data for longer periods.

Transfer of Data

Your information, including Personal Data, may be transferred to – and maintained on – computers located outside of your state, province, country or other governmental jurisdiction where the data protection laws may differ from those of your jurisdiction.

If you are located outside United States and choose to provide information to us, please note that we transfer the data, including Personal Data, to United States and process it there.

Your consent to this Privacy Policy followed by your submission of such information represents your agreement to that transfer.

Maker Learning Network will take all the steps reasonably necessary to ensure that your data is treated securely and in accordance with this Privacy Policy and no transfer of your Personal Data will take place to an organisation or a country unless there are adequate controls in place including the security of your data and other personal information.

Disclosure of Data

Business Transaction

If Maker Learning Network is involved in a merger, acquisition or asset sale, your Personal Data may be transferred. We will provide notice before your Personal Data is transferred and becomes subject to a different Privacy Policy.

Disclosure for Law Enforcement

Under certain circumstances, Maker Learning Network may be required to disclose your Personal Data if required to do so by law or in response to valid requests by public authorities (e.g. a court or a government agency).

Legal Requirements

Maker Learning Network may disclose your Personal Data in the good faith belief that such action is necessary to:

Security of Data

The security of your data is important to us but remember that no method of transmission over the Internet or method of electronic storage is 100% secure. While we strive to use commercially acceptable means to protect your Personal Data, we cannot guarantee its absolute security.

Our Policy on “Do Not Track” Signals under the California Online Protection Act (CalOPPA)

We do not support Do Not Track (“DNT”). Do Not Track is a preference you can set in your web browser to inform websites that you do not want to be tracked.

You can enable or disable Do Not Track by visiting the Preferences or Settings page of your web browser.

Your Data Protection Rights under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

If you are a resident of the European Economic Area (EEA), you have certain data protection rights. Maker Learning Network aims to take reasonable steps to allow you to correct, amend, delete or limit the use of your Personal Data.

If you wish to be informed about what Personal Data we hold about you and if you want it to be removed from our systems, please contact us.

In certain circumstances, you have the following data protection rights:

Please note that we may ask you to verify your identity before responding to such requests.

You have the right to complain to a Data Protection Authority about our collection and use of your Personal Data. For more information, please contact your local data protection authority in the European Economic Area (EEA).

Service Providers

We may employ third party companies and individuals to facilitate our Service (“Service Providers”), provide the Service on our behalf, perform Service-related services or assist us in analysing how our Service is used.

These third parties have access to your Personal Data only to perform these tasks on our behalf and are obligated not to disclose or use it for any other purpose.


We may use third-party Service Providers to monitor and analyse the use of our Service.

Behavioral Remarketing

Maker Learning Network uses remarketing services to advertise on third party websites to you after you visited our Service. We and our third-party vendors use cookies to inform, optimise and serve ads based on your past visits to our Service.

Links to Other Sites

Our Service may contain links to other sites that are not operated by us. If you click a third party link, you will be directed to that third party’s site. We strongly advise you to review the Privacy Policy of every site you visit.

We have no control over and assume no responsibility for the content, privacy policies or practices of any third party sites or services.

Children’s Privacy

Our Service does not address anyone under the age of 18 (“Children”).

We do not knowingly collect personally identifiable information from anyone under the age of 18. If you are a parent or guardian and you are aware that your Child has provided us with Personal Data, please contact us. If we become aware that we have collected Personal Data from children without verification of parental consent, we take steps to remove that information from our servers.

Changes to This Privacy Policy

We may update our Privacy Policy from time to time. We will notify you of any changes by posting the new Privacy Policy on this page.

We will let you know via email and/or a prominent notice on our Service, prior to the change becoming effective and update the “effective date” at the top of this Privacy Policy.

You are advised to review this Privacy Policy periodically for any changes. Changes to this Privacy Policy are effective when they are posted on this page.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, please contact us:

Important information regarding confidential student data

There is ongoing litigation between the California Department of Education and the Concerned Parent Association. A notice issued by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson states, “The lawsuit accuses CDE of widespread, systemic non-compliance by local educational agencies with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504. The CDE denies these allegations and is actively defending the litigation.”

The court has ordered CDE to release student and parent information to provide personally identifiable information (PII) – an act that can only be taken as an exception to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). As a result, we are providing notice of the court order and directions to anyone wishing to object.

Please be advised that CDE will notify parents or students of whom are required to disclose information and those individuals may object directly to the court regarding this disclosure using the PDF link below:


| iLEAD Math Policy
Translate »