We’re excited to announce that ConnectED has received a generous grant from the Hearst Foundation to develop a toolkit that will help districts operationalize its Graduate Profile.

Over the past decade, an increasing number of school districts in California and across the country have convened community stakeholders to create a Graduate Profile: a succinct one-pager that defines the skills, competencies, and mindsets required for future success. Communities have been willing to dedicate the time and resources necessary to develop Graduate Profiles because they believe that traditional accountability systems often too narrowly define college and career readiness. School and community leaders believe it is important to more broadly define the learning outcomes that should be the result of educating the “whole child.” Research reinforces the need to broaden the definition of college and career readiness to incorporate a range of 21st Century skills and social-emotional learning outcomes.

While creating a Graduate Profile is a critical first step, its mere existence neither changes practice nor outcomes. Too often, the Graduate Profile becomes simply a colorful poster or web page. However, increasingly, districts are eager to operationalize their Graduate Profiles as an impetus for engaging students in deeper learning and demonstrating their competency through authentic performance assessments. There is renewed interest and commitment to Graduate Profiles among districts and communities eager to promote more holistic and equitable preparation for future success in college, career and civic engagement. Most importantly, districts are willing to hold themselves collectively accountable for ensuring that each and every student demonstrates the outcomes articulated in their respective Profiles. The willingness is there, but districts need help. The field has not yet crafted a toolkit that can be easily accessed by school districts to guide their process. ConnectED is partnering with Scaling Student Success to develop such a toolkit, and plans to have it available to districts later this year. Stay tuned for future details.