Draft Graduate Portrait

A Graduate Portrait is an explicit and audacious description of the community’s aspiration on what students should know, be and be able to do in the future. It articulates what the community values and wants to nurture in its students in order to prepare their graduates to thrive in life and career.

While aspirational, our commitment is to help every student reach their full potential and work toward these elements to the best of their abilities. A Graduate Portrait inspires and emboldens the school district and system of schools to adopt innovations and creative redesigns that are stimulated by signals about the future. It enables leaders to align leadership, management, teaching and learning, and resource allocations so that the learning system produces results that will deliver on the promise of the vision. The following Graduate Portrait elements have been developed through a synthesis of iterative inputs from the community.

Resilient Mind, Healthy Body

Students are mentally and physically resilient individuals who know how to manage stress, work toward a balanced lifestyle, make productive personal decisions and cultivate a network of supportive and affirming allies.

Students are healthy, resilient and confident individuals with knowledge and skills about self-care tools and tactics that foster mental and physical wellness. They manage stress and anxiety through practices that promote a balanced lifestyle of good nutrition, exercise, sleep, and setting boundaries. They have a personal set of effective strategies to overcome challenges and setbacks, including knowing how to use self-advocacy and agency skills to proactively communicate their needs to others.

Students appreciate and can identify their personal assets, strengths and skills. They are conscious of the relationship between responsible decision-making and positive outcomes, and they are aware of the negative effects of different types of choices. They have developed emotional resilience by recognizing, managing and expressing emotions constructively and applying mindfulness strategies. Students have developed an authentic, unique, and positive personal identity that is reflected in their reputation and digital footprint. They express a deep sense of self-worth and belief in their own abilities to accomplish goals. They know how to connect with and cultivate physical and virtual communities where they feel respected, valued and affirmed.

Future-Ready Learner

Students are prepared for their future by graduating with key life skills, an informed sense of direction and plan, and self-directed learning skills that enables them to adapt to a rapidly evolving world.

Students are prepared for life after graduation with a sense of direction and key life skills. They have productive aspirations for their future which have been informed by real-world learning, work and service experiences. They have broad knowledge about different pathways to both colleges and careers and have identified initial steps to follow after they graduate. They are able to responsibly implement technological tools to support their efforts to learn, be productive, stay healthy, work and be independent.

Students are adaptive learners and maintain competence by recognizing when new learning is needed and are empowered with “how to learn” skills to reskill and upskill to maintain relevance in a rapidly evolving career landscape. They are curious and self-reflective and see learning as a lifelong journey. They have a growth mindset and believe that goals are attainable and outcomes can change with effort and learning. They welcome critical feedback for personal growth and they take risks and persistently turn mistakes into learning opportunities. They are armed with key career-building skills. They can represent their knowledge, skills and experiences in a variety of formats through different media, effectively prepare for and undergo interviews and build supportive professional networks both in person and virtually.

They have key productivity skills and can manage team projects as well as organize, prioritize and plan effectively to meet deadlines. They also have practical knowledge and skills to navigate real-life challenges regardless of their pathway. As a result, they know how to responsibly manage their finances, take care of basic needs, and care for themselves in order to live independently.

Effective Communicator

Students are effective and responsible communicators who can organize and express information in different ways to diverse audiences using a variety of methods and tools.

Students are able to organize and express meaningful content for different audiences. They understand when to appropriately use formal, academic language and when to use informal language, slang and idiom. They can apply different strategies and modalities, such as writing, speaking, debating, storytelling and presenting, through different mediums of expression, including writing, visual and performing arts, photography, digital media, virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and video and audio recordings.

They are skilled at actively and deeply listening in order to understand different points of view. They are able to hold meaningful conversations with people of different backgrounds and ages as well as with intelligent machines. They are able to effectively and respectfully argue and persuade others through public speaking, storytelling, and debate. They are able to communicate in more than one language, including computer languages. Students also exhibit ethical responsibility by ensuring that information communicated in any format or platform is factual, accurate, reliable and well-intentioned.

Collaborative Problem Solver

Students know how to effectively collaborate with diverse teams to understand problems and develop creative, realistic solutions to problems that effectively address the needs of people and situations.

Students are highly skilled problem seekers and solvers. Through engagement in interdisciplinary, collaborative projects, students know how to clearly identify and describe problems, assess underlying causes to problems, generate creative solutions that meet diverse needs and implement solutions with an understanding of real world consequences. They value teamwork and seek diverse perspectives to more fully understand problems and diverse thinking to enhance solution development. They are able to work effectively in teams of different sizes, with people from different backgrounds and experiences and with entities, such as intelligent machines.

They are cognitively flexible and knowledgeable about different approaches to problem solving. They are creative and know how to use a variety of tools and techniques to open divergent thinking pathways in order to develop and draw out fresh and new ideas. They are comfortable managing complexity and ambiguity in problems. They are skilled systems and strategic thinkers, able to anticipate cause and effect relationships in systems as well as identify sequences of actions needed to implement solutions. In order to enhance their capabilities to describe and solve problems, students know how to use and build technology to support problem solving efforts.

Critical Thinking Scholar

Students graduate with strong critical and creative thinking skills by applying foundational academic knowledge across boundaries to develop new understandings.

Students graduate with foundational academic knowledge and skills that they can apply in an interdisciplinary way to think critically and creatively. They draw upon knowledge from a range of disciplines (mathematics, social studies, literature, sciences, athletics and the arts) and create new understanding by thinking across boundaries and synthesizing information in new ways. They can skillfully analyze, evaluate and interpret information, ask relevant questions, and develop claims and compelling arguments supported by evidence. They can also creatively and effectively develop and apply digital technology and artificial intelligence tools and devices to enhance their ability to conceptualize, analyze, synthesize, evaluate and interpret information. They are able to determine validity of information and can identify biased, misleading and false information.

Global Citizen

Students have a global orientation and they see themselves as part of a larger interdependent and connected world-wide ecosystem in which they have responsibilities as productive citizens.

Students possess a global consciousness and sense of responsibility. They are able to see beyond themselves and recognize the interdependencies and connectedness of the broader world. They possess global systems thinking and understand how personal, business and societal decisions can impact the world around them, whether local or global and in the short and long term. They are culturally competent and inclusive and are able to relate, communicate and collaborate with others in their community and around the world in-person and through technology. As responsible citizens, they act ethically and fairly in their choices and decisions and productively engage in and inspire others to engage in civic duty and government. As global citizens, they are responsible environmental stewards who are knowledgeable about sustainable living strategies.

Inclusive Empathizer

Students have an inclusive mindset and value and empathize with others who are different from themselves.

Students are able to relate to and empathize with people from diverse backgrounds including belief systems, cultures, neurotypes, physical and learning abilities, identities, languages, socio-economic backgrounds and ages. They have an inclusive and asset based mindset which fosters their ability to compromise and to understand how to live and work with people who are different from themselves. They possess deep listening skills, are open minded and are self-aware of their own biases. As compassionate empathizers, students demonstrate care and concern for others and are moved to action to address their problems. As emotional empathizers, students accurately recognize and understand the emotional state of others. As cognitive empathizers, students can put themselves in someone else’s place and understand perspectives from the other person’s points of view.

Equity Ambassador

Students understand the historical roots of racial and cultural bias and how they have led to institutionalized and biased practices and know how to act in ways that promote equity.

As equity change agents, students have the agency, knowledge and skills to take action in challenging and dismantling conditions of societal injustices based on race and culture. They have a racial equity and cultural inclusion mindset and have an asset based perspective about diverse communities. They can evaluate history from a polycentric perspective and are knowledgeable about current and historical racial justice issues. They can identify examples of institutionalized racism in systems and society and take action to interrupt conditions that perpetuate patterns of inequity.