Portrait of a Graduate

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Portrait of a Graduate

The Portrait of a Lakota Graduate was adopted in the fall of 2019 to serve as a “north star” that clearly defines the skills, characteristics and attributes that WE in the Lakota community desire to see in every learner who graduates from Lakota. This Portrait is critical to defining the core pillars of the Strategic Plan - WE are Personalized and WE are Future Ready.  

How Was It Developed?

Over the course of the 2018-19 school year, we met with hundreds of students, teachers, parents, community members to discuss and identify the skills that are most important for our graduate to possess. We then met with focus groups from the Chamber of Commerce to ask what skills they are looking for when hiring our graduates, college admissions officers to ensure that these are the skills they are looking for in applicants, and local elected officials to validate that this portrait of a graduate is unique to our community and a true differentiator when defining what makes Lakota special. Throughout this process, the Board of Education was updated and design aspects of the Portrait were refined.

The Meaning Behind the Design 

In Lakota, WE believe that we are preparing EVERY student for success after graduation in one of the “4 E’s” - Enrollment in college, Enlistment in the military, Employment in our workforce, or Entrepreneurship. The Portrait of a Lakota Graduate serves to align the pillars of our strategic plan with the 4 E’s by providing clearly defined skills that most likely lead to future success for our graduates. 

The center of the circle is our student - our Lakota Learner - and the core tenets of our Strategic Plan. The 4 E’s are at the top of the circle to remind us of our goal for every Lakota Learner. The base of the circle is the 6 categories of the skills, characteristics and attributes that WE as a community have defined for success of our graduates. Each of these is an intentional adjective/noun pairing to incorporate the most critical ideas that surfaced through months of discussion.  

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Portrait of a Graduate: A Living Document

This portrait serves as a “north star” for our district, but as one of our Strategic Plan pillars says, “WE are In This Together”. Throughout the 2019-20 school year, we will be sharing the Portrait with our teachers, students, and families to familiarize themselves with these ideas, and build a shared understanding of how best to ensure that our graduates are prepared for their world after graduation. This will be a key focus for our high schools and junior schools for the 2019-20 school year and will then become a K-12 focus in 2020 and beyond. We will look to align current projects, course offerings, and Real World Learning experiences to incorporate these skills. 

We will also share the Portrait with our business and community partners to develop a common language of what we hope to develop in all of our graduates. In time, we will look to develop culminating experiences (projects, portfolios, capstones, internships, etc.) that align to the Portrait and allow students to demonstrate in significant ways to authentic audiences that they have mastered certain aspects of the Portrait of a Lakota Graduate.