• About Portrait of a Graduate

    Yesterday’s student was prepared by schools to succeed in the industrial age. Today’s student enters a dynamic, technologically connected, and service-oriented workplace with civic responsibility spanning local and global perspectives. To find 21st century success, we are shifting our focus.

    In April 2018, Oxford School District began a journey of framing a new vision for our school system- defining what skills, traits and abilities that our students must possess to succeed in the 21st century. Now more than ever, the OSD experience must not only provide for the acquisition of rigorous academic content, but it must also be more intentional about fostering critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity our young people need to thrive in this complex, rapidly changing world.

    Which student will be best prepared to contribute and compete in this global economy?

    Student A Student B
    Student A


    • Math
    • Science
    • English
    • Social Studies
    Student B


    • Content Mastery
    • Communication
    • Collaboration
    • Other 21st Century Skills

    Many school systems across the country have engaged their larger community in developing a Portrait of a Graduate, a collective vision that articulates the community’s aspirations for all students. This is the first step OSD is taking in transforming our classrooms, schools and community.

    What are the hopes, aspirations, and dreams that our community has for our young people?

    What are the skills and habits of mind that our children need for success in this rapidly changing and complex world?

    What are the implications for the design of the learning experiences—and equitable access to those experiences—we provide in our school systems?

    Locally developed, but globally positioned, the Portrait of a Graduate will serve as a North Star for system transformation. Providing strategic direction for the redesign of the overall educational experience for students, this collective vision reinvigorates and re-engages students, teachers, and community stakeholders.


    Phase 1: Plan

    Build understanding among our district's leadership, school board and key leaders

    Create a Portrait of a Graduate Community Team that will be involved across all phases to build a sense of urgency and create excitement across the community. This team will include students, district leaders, community stakeholders and business leaders.


    Phase 2: Activate

    Host community screenings of the award-winning documentary “Most Likely to Succeed”

    Convene the Portrait Community Team to study the implications for our students in the light of the changing economy, workplace, and society


    Phase 3: Create

    The Community Team will draft a prioritized set of competencies, including 21st century skills, mindsets, and literacies

    Draft visuals that convey a compelling story

    Reach consensus about a selected visual to share with the broader community

    Continue to discuss this work in the broader community and elicit their ideas for the Portrait


    Phase 4: Adopt

    Submit recommendation to the school board for adoption

    Publish and leverage the adopted Portrait as the guide for subsequent strategic planning, and the design of educational experiences for students