The Warwick Valley Central School District has announced the seven qualities that will be articulated to students in its Portrait of a Graduate. Educators, administrators and staff in the Warwick Valley Central School District will work to ensure that its graduates possess the skills necessary to be a collaborator, communicator, creator/innovator, ethical and global citizen, resilient individual, problem-solver, and life-long learner.
“This work will guide our instructional vision and our curriculum implementation efforts to ensure that all students have adequate and equitable access to education that prepares them for their futures,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. David Leach. “The Warwick Valley CSD Portrait of a Graduate reflects our collective vision, which was informed by stakeholders’ input, of the skills, attributes and dispositions a student should possess for successes in today’s global society.”
Establishing these priority goals for teaching and learning has been a multi-year effort, beginning with students, parents, teachers and community members taking part in #TheirFuture, a series of surveys, discussions and meetings to define and design a modern educational program that meets the needs of today’s students. The collaborative initiative sought to ensure that all Warwick district students receive a strong foundation to learn, lead and find success. Last year, board of education members, community members, staff and administration further examined these qualities.
The Portrait of a Graduate will be represented graphically across the district. For example, it is currently on the district’s website www.warwickvalleyschools.com/, where a community member can mouse over the attributes for more information. Principals have already begun sharing the attributes with their staff and planning ways to implement the Portrait of a Graduate into the curriculum. A Portrait of a Graduate poster will be hung in every classroom to keep these attributes top-of-mind.
Below are the qualities that make up a Warwick Portrait of a Graduate:
Collaborator: Collaborators hear, acknowledge, and appreciate a diversity of perspectives in conversation. They foster strong group dynamics by remaining open to varied opinions and valuing the input of others. They solicit suggestions from others when forming ideas and solving problems, and consult multiple sources to inform their opinions and conclusions. Collaborators unite those around them to achieve a common goal.
Communicator: Communicators connect with people who are both like and unlike them. Communicators read and listen; they carefully research and ask questions. They know their topics, know their audiences, and are able to grasp broad ideas to distill and make them digestible for others. They write, speak and present their ideas digitally in ways that advance learning by educating and empowering.
Creator/Innovator: Creators/Innovators utilize their imagination and evidence-based knowledge. They strategize to solve problems, investigate answers to their own questions, and meet challenges with solutions to further their own learning. They often share their ideas and feelings through the arts, design and building processes. Similar to Collaborators, Creators/Innovators consider information from different sources and apply it in new ways to make things, disseminate ideas or provide solutions. They carefully examine their sources and consider the potential impact on others.
Ethical and Global Citizen: Ethical and Global Citizens are neighbors to the world, exhibiting empathy, compassion, and respect for others. They strive to understand a variety of cultures and perspectives outside their own, including language study. They consider the issues of the day through the lens of local, national, and global perspectives – from social issues to environmental issues. Ethical and Global Citizens must act with integrity, be community-minded and understand the foundations of our nation – both rights and privileges – and the responsibilities we share to others in the global community.
Resilient Individual: Resilient Individuals make good choices that enable them to persevere when challenges arise. They choose to maintain a healthy body and mind, and surround themselves with supportive, positive people. They stay goal-oriented and tackle tasks through successful planning. Resilient Individuals understand that self-reflection and advocacy are keys to growth and self-improvement.
Problem Solver: Problem Solvers, when faced with unique challenges, are equipped with the knowledge and drive necessary to face those challenges with understanding and ingenuity. They recognize society’s needs and come up with original ideas, offer astute alternatives, and identify unseen connections that lead to new solutions. Problem Solvers are generous with their efforts toward a positive resolution, and unselfish about the benefits those ends will deliver to the community.
Life-long Learner: Lifelong Learners don’t just love learning, they are dedicated to understanding themselves and their world more and more over time. They are enthusiastic and hopeful about what new knowledge they may be able to obtain from and for their global community. Lifelong Learners can be professionals dedicated to their research, artists committed to expression, or anyone who has made self-directed learning an essential part of their personal growth. They honor the work of their teachers by embracing and continuing their own education beyond the classroom for their lifetime.
The district will be incorporating these characteristics in future selections of Superintendent’s Spotlights and Superintendent’s Artists of the Week.