Portrait of a Graduate

In recent years, BCPS has dedicated itself to composing the Graduate Profile, which includes six competencies focused on empowering and equipping BCPS students for life after high school. This Profile goes hand-in-hand with our BCPS mission: “To inspire and equip our students to succeed in life,” and has been developed, tested, and revised utilizing feedback from staff, students, parents, community members, and local businesses. The six competencies included are Community Contributor, Effective Communicator, Productive Collaborator, Innovative Problem Solver, Mastery Learner, and Self-Directed Navigator. 

BCPS’s work in the Graduate Profile is at the forefront of transforming education provided to students at the high school level throughout the United States. Due to the groundbreaking nature of this project, BCPS was featured in a study for the work completed in the Graduate Profile; Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC), which created the Graduate Profile framework, asked five school and district sites how they answered the essential question: “How might we redesign teaching and learning to ensure all students have high-quality learning experiences that help them continuously develop the competencies in our Portrait of a Graduate?” Portrait of a Graduate serves as an umbrella term for the skills and competencies that define student success, and is another term used for BCPS’s Graduate Profile. Being featured in this study showcases BCPS’s unique approaches to align teaching and learning to our vision of student success, serving as a catalyst to transform learning in schools and districts all across the United States. 

NGLC’s study showcases BCPS’s focus on incorporating experiential learning into the regular classroom learning schedule. By utilizing experiential learning, students are allowed the agency to own more of their learning journey and have a voice in how they demonstrate their learning. Coach Beau Kaelin and BCHS Math teacher Kim Ludwig sat down with NGLC to describe the changes in mindset and practice they have made since the conception of the Graduate Profile and how students have responded to those changes. NGLC features key “learnings” from each district interviewed, explaining BCPS’s lessons as: 

  • Building a culture of innovation and improvement requires explicit messaging and modeling that failure is a natural and expected part of growth.

  • Bringing about transformative change – and building the capability to sustain those changes – cannot be hurried or forced.

  • The support of stakeholders in the wider community comes from true engagement and listening, not asking for approval of something already decided.

Ms. Ludwig and a student in her class are featured on NGLC’s podcast as they describe a project where students designed an amusement park fountain and demonstrated their understanding of both Algebra 2 concepts and Graduate Profile competencies in the process. The podcast can be found here

To learn more about the work BCPS is completing within the Graduate Profile, click here

To learn more about NGLC’s “Portrait of a Graduate in Practice,” click here