The Sauk Rapids-Rice School District has made a commitment to foster students’ positive attributes—those that contribute to their ongoing success—with a new process called The Portrait of a Graduate.
The portrait identifies the community’s shared aspirations for students. We are asking students, parents and guardians, educators, businesses, civic organizations, students’ families and those who live in Sauk Rapids and Rice to consider what graduates should know and be able to do so that they are prepared to face their futures. We are gathering this information because we want to create a school system that is reflective of what our community sees as key for student development and assessment across educational stages and grade levels, from early childhood on through graduation and beyond. The portrait pinpoints the attributes our community believes will benefit students the most throughout their lives and that are integral to their success as they positively contribute to the larger world.
How Does the Process Unfold?
During the Portrait of a Graduate process, we will ask the community to consider:
- How is the world changing?
- How are workforce needs changing?
- How do we best prepare students to meaningfully compete and contribute in a twenty-first century world?
The portrait process is a systematic, community-based approach that considers all of these questions and many more. Participants ultimately create a profile of skills and attributes the community thinks our students will most need for life success. The portrait process is unique to each participating school district and the attributes that emerge from our community work will reflect that uniqueness.
Phases, Stages and Committees
The district asks students and staff for their input. The district also invites the larger Sauk Rapids and Rice communities to offer their input. Portrait of a Graduate meetings focus on learning about the process, giving participants a chance to ask questions and gathering input through a survey. Data from this work is compiled and measured. Frequently identified attributes rise to the top of the key attribute list. The top five or six commonly identified attributes are used in the next phase of the process.
Phase two of the process engages smaller community task committees who use this shorter attribute list to complete research. Participants in this phase must be able to commit to regular meeting attendance. This group will work closely with the district to create the final Sauk Rapids-Rice Portrait of a Graduate that will be presented to the board of education and the larger Sauk Rapids and Rice communities.
Finally, Sauk Rapids-Rice Schools’ unique portrait will be implemented into school curriculum and assessment across all grade levels to graduation and beyond.
Some Background about the Process
The portrait process was developed by a nonprofit organization called Battelle for Kids (learn more about this organization HERE). The Portrait of a Graduate process was launched in 2017 and has been utilized by school districts across the nation as our communities consider what unique, meaningful and measurable learning objectives might look like to best serve students now and in the future.
Director of Teaching and Learning at Sauk Rapids-Rice Public Schools, Jenny Bushman, says this of the process:
“My hope is that students from early childhood through grade 12 and beyond are provided support and opportunities to grow and develop in each of the identified attributes so as they graduate, they do so with the skills they need to be successful in our ever-changing world.”
Sauk Rapids-Rice High School Assistant Principal Sandy Logrono reiterates the importance of having many voices involved.
“We will work together as a learning community to help all students throughout the district learn the skills they need to reach their aspirations and dreams beyond graduation,” she says.
The Sauk Rapids and Rice community members are invited to attend one of the following events:
Most Likely to Succeed Documentary Showings
Attend one or both showings.
Monday, January 6, from 6:00–8:00 p.m.
Sunday, February 9, from 2:00–4:00 p.m.
Sauk Rapids-Rice Middle School Community Arts Center
This 2015 Sundance Film Festival Selection examines education in twenty-first century America and sets the stage for the first phase of the Portrait of a Graduate process. This film will stimulate important community conversation.
Questions about the Portrait of a Graduate?
Learn more HERE or contact:
Director of Teaching and Learning
Assistant Principal, Sauk Rapids-Rice High School