In previous editions of Connections, I shared updates on the work of our strategic plan coalition of students, staff, families, and community members. This quarter, I am proud to share the product that this coalition created, the first ever District 117 Portrait of a Graduate! This powerful and unifying vision articulates six competencies we want all of our students to develop by the time they leave our high schools.
The first competency is “Thinks Critically.” Our graduates will leverage their curiosity to identify and solve problems, embracing intellectual risks. They will challenge assumptions, making decisions based on authentic evidence. They will consistently improve the quality of their thinking through skillful analysis and assessment.
The second competency is “Embraces Diversity.” Our graduates will find opportunities to embrace and affirm their authentic selves. They will actively work to develop empathy for others, appreciating and respecting diverse perspectives. They will also identify their biases and strive to reduce their impact on others.
Next, we have “Emotionally Intelligent.” Our graduates will practice responsible decision-making, considering the impact on others. They will build and sustain strong, healthy relationships with peers and adults. They will embrace a growth mindset, including self-regulation, motivation, and resiliency.
The fourth competency is “Courageous.” Our graduates will be courageous in setting ambitious goals and continually reflecting upon them. They will advocate for themselves and others in a socially responsible and empathetic manner, leading with integrity and compassion.
The fifth competency is “Collaborates.” Our graduates will inspire and motivate others through the sharing of ideas toward a common purpose. They will take responsibility for themselves and their teams, leading with a shared focus. They will actively listen, providing and receiving feedback to foster mutual understanding.
Last but not least, we have “Communicates.” Our graduates will articulate ideas effectively, using clear and concise oral and written communication. They will initiate and sustain meaningful conversations, always acting with empathy and respect. They will develop a deep understanding of their audience and themselves.
This District 117 Portrait of a Graduate embodies our collective commitment to student success. It will guide us as we design our curriculum, create meaningful learning experiences, and support our students on their unique paths of growth and achievement. We are excited to begin this journey as a school community!
Jeff Feucht, Ed.D.
Community High School District 117