Pine-Richland developing 'graduate portrait' for success beyond high school - PineCreek Journal

Pine-Richland developing ‘graduate portrait’ for success beyond high school

Friday, April 5, 2019 | 1:30 AM

In the coming years, Pine-Richland School District administrators hope to send their graduates into the world equipped with more than just the academic knowledge they need to be successful adults.

They are now working on developing a Pine-Richland graduate portrait, which will identify not only the scholastic proficiency needed for post-high school life but also skills such as time management, money management and healthy eating habits. Once that portrait is more complete, they’ll explore how to best incorporate that training and education into a student’s time in the district.

The concept emerged from a number of projects, school district superintendent Brian Miller said.

Miller pointed to last summer’s “environmental scan,” in which administrators met with senior leaders, board members, teachers and staff members from across the district, as well as their ongoing, in-depth program review process. Through last year’s review of the business and computer science curriculum, the need for “soft skills” such as oral and written communication, time management and the ability to work in a team because apparent. And in talking to colleges and universities about what’s important to them, Miller said, the answers were often not content knowledge but the ability to research, evaluate, collaborate, etc.

“All of these ideas sort of melded together into this idea of a Pine-Richland graduate portrait,” Miller said. “Over the course of six months of town halls, we brought forward the idea then gradually refined it based upon input from district partners, staff and students.”

They identified four categories on which to focus: knowledge, skills, health and wellness, and personal qualities and characteristics. They are now working on refining what belongs in each of those categories and will then establish benchmarks and determine how students might go about acquiring the skills and competencies they need for life beyond the Pine-Richland walls.

Miller said that as they launch the new strategic plan this coming fall, the idea of the graduate portrait will be a much bigger part of the message to students and parents.

“So if a graduate is demonstrating these qualities, then what might that look like for a student by the time he or she finishes eighth grade?” Miller said. “What might it look like at the end of sixth? At the end of third? And how might that continue to evolve through Eden Hall, through middle school, through high school. What’s really resonating with kids, staff and parents is how important these other categories are to the overall development of a student or young person. It’s worth our time to flesh this out a bit and look at the ways in which we’re helping students develop from a more holistic standpoint in each area.”