ACS Portrait of a Graduate
WHAT IS PORTRAIT OF A GRADUATE?A COLLECTIVE VISION ARTICULATING THE COMMUNITY'S HOPES AND ASPIRATIONS FOR STUDENTS.
Portrait of a Graduate is a process by which we, as a community, ask, “What should a graduate of Athens City Schools look like?” Locally developed and globally positioned, the portrait will serve as a North Star in developing and implementing our strategic plan for preparing students for the incredible opportunities and challenges of today and tomorrow.
The design process involved the entire school community - educators, students, parents, businesses and others - as we collectively defined a visual and practical representation of the goals our community and schools can work toward to incorporate and ensure 21st century learning experiences for all students.
WHY PORTRAIT OF A GRADUATE?OUR STUDENTS DESERVE EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO SUCCEED IN SCHOOL, THE WORKPLACE, & IN LIFE.
The world is changing. Experts argue over what the jobs market will look like in 10 or 20 years' time, but they all agree - it is changing faster than at any other time in history.
Today's elementary school students will end up in jobs that do not even exist today.
In today's increasingly global and innovative economy, students must be well prepared to contribute and compete to achieve success. As a community, we asked ourselves if our current educational model is preparing students to succeed in school, the workplace, and in life. The development of a clear picture that defines our end goal for our students was the first step in framing a new vision for our school system.
HOW DID WE DEVELOP PORTRAIT?AS A COMMUNITY CONNECTED BY EDUCATION.
The Portrait of a Graduate is a picture. This picture is a community-created and owned vision that captures the hopes and dreams for the students of Athens City Schools. To create this metaphorical picture, we established a design team made up of interested and invested community members. This team included a cross-section of business and industry leaders, families, higher education representatives, teachers, social service agencies, school and district leaders and more.
Every effort was made to ensure our Portrait of a Graduate is reflective of all the all the voices in our community. These voices, in the form of the portrait, will necessarily inform the decisions made by our school system as school and district leaders strategically identify and address the areas of opportunity that exist for our students.
THE DESIGNLEADERS WHO HELPED THE COMMUNITY SHAPE THE CONVERSATION SURROUNDING OUR PORTRAIT.
The design team included of a cross-section of community leaders selected by the district Strategic Planning Committee. The design team facilitated the community effort as we asked ourselves these essential questions: What are the hopes, aspirations, and dreams that this community has for our young people? What are the characteristics, capabilities, habits of mind, and skills that our children need for success in this rapidly changing and complex world? What are the implications for the student experience provided in our schools across all grade levels?
The design team included business leaders, teachers, parents, students, Board of Education members, Instructional Leadership Team members, and representatives from local post-secondary institutions.WHAT WE EXPECTED FROM THE DESIGN TEAM:
TIMELINE & ACTIVITES
- Authentic Collaboration
- Diligent, High-quality Research
- Reliable Sources of Relevant Information & Resources
- Community Meetings, Thought Exchanges, & Opportunities for Constructive Feedback
- October 2018 Initial Meeting with Internal Stakeholders
- October-November 2018 Establish the Design Team
- November 2018 Design Team Meeting 1 - Organize, Plan & Begin Research
- January 2019 Design Team Meeting 2
- January 11, 2019 Introduce & Share Portrait of a Graduate with School Administrators
- January - March 2019 Design Team Research, Meetings & Discussions
- February 2019 Design Team Meeting 3
- February 4, 2019 Community Meeting1 (Visioning)
- February-March 2019 Share Portrait with Larger Community - Revise as Needed
- April 30, 2019 Community Meeting 2 (Drafting)
- May - June 2019 Present Final Portrait of a Graduate & Begin the Strategic Plan
COMMUNITY FEEDBACK & CONTRIBUTIONSHOW WE GATHERED YOUR FEEDBACK.
Athens City Schools asked our community this essential question: "What are the character traits and skills most imortant for success in college, career and life for our Athens graduates?" This quesion is at the center of the ACS Portrait of a Graduate design process.
We reached out to our community both in person and digitally. When possible, we spoke to groups directly. We shared informational videos, wesbites and resources with respondent groups using the ACS mass notification system and social media channels. We solicited responses through a published article in the local newpaper. We delivered digital surveys. We shared the portrait process and collected responses from the entire community.BREAKDOWN OF PARTICIPANTSWHAT OUR COMMUNITY SAIDWHAT WE HEARDHOW THE SIX MAJOR THEMES EMERGED.The design team reviewed and analyzed all the data collected. The team considered all 2708 individual repsonses one by one and grouped them into the most logical categories according to the nature of the character trait or skill. As a result, six major themes emerged. The following table shows the breakdown of the responses and the grouping of responses into themes.
CHARACTER CITIZENSHIP CRITICAL THINKING CREATIVITY COLLABORATION COMMUNICATE Grit Common Sense Analytical Creativity Adaptability Communication Accountability Acceptance Cognitive Flexibility Divergent Thinking Collaborate Articulate Character Balance Critical Thinker Fail Fast Flexibility Writing Skills Christian Character Civic Minded Logical Fail Forward Cognitive Skills Effective Communicator Self-Discipline Civic Responsibility Problem Solver Innovation Team Player Effective Listener Ethical Emotional Intelligence Reasoning Learning in Failure Conflict Resolution Persuasion Hard Working Compassionate Problem Identifier Nontraditional Public Speaking Honesty Empathetic Resourceful Speech Initiative Emotional Thinker Risk Taker Typing Personal Responsibility Globally Aware Risk Management Writing Integrity Patience Entrepreneurship Leadership Self-Awareness Hands on Activities Lifelong Learner Selfless Digital Content Creation Loyalty Sensible Explorers Manners Serve Forward Thinking Perseverance Thoughtful Future Thinker Punctuality Tolerant Guessing Resilience Understanding Visionary Self Motivated Discernment Speculation Confidence Courteous Focus Respectful Fortitude Helpful Enthusiasm Kind Passionate Humble Organized Growth Mindset Morals Open Minded Time Management CommitmentWHAT DID WE DO WITH THE DATA?
The next steps in the design process in the development of a Portrait of a Graduate involved several pieces. First, there was a final editing process by which the design team developed anchor statements relative to each theme. A graphic depicition of the actual portrait was drafted. Upon adoption, the final Portrait of a Graduate will serve as the North Star as Athens City Schools redevelops the school system's strategic plan that will carry us into the future.
Portrait of a Graduate is a process by which we, as a community, ask, “What should a graduate of Athens City Schools look like?” The portrait will serve as a North Star in developing and implementing our strategic plan for preparing students for the incredible opportunities and challenges of today and tomorrow. The finished product is a collective vision articulating the community's hopes and dreams for our students as we work to incorporate and ensure 21st century learning experiences for all.
THE FINAL PRODUCTA UNIQUE ATHENS CITY SCHOOLS PORTRAIT OF A GRADUATE.
The design team, in authentic collaboration with the community, developed a unique portrait reflecting the shared vision of the Athens City Schools community.
Click HERE to view the Google Site and all related resources used in the creation of the ACS Portrait of a Graduate.