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A high school graduate gesturing towards the sky; plus list of graduate attributes

 To help the AUSD community better understand our new Strategic Plan, this year we will introduce one feature of the plan each month via the newsletter. Sometimes we’ll explore a topic area through a short article; other times we may use videotaped interviews, an instructor spotlight, or a slideshow. Our goal is to find multiple ways to describe both AUSD’s goals and the strategies we are implementing to reach those goals.

To kick off the series, this month we’re focusing on AUSD’s “graduate profile.” Such  profiles describe the skills and characteristics a district wants its students to develop by the time they graduate. Different students develop these competencies in different ways and along different timelines, of course. But a clear articulation of these abilities sets a “north star,” or student-centered guide, for the short- and long-term decisions and determinations a district makes.

AUSD began work on its graduate profile in 2019, as a way establishing a vision on which to base the subsequent development of a new Strategic Plan. (Due to the pandemic, the plan wasn’t completed until 2023, but the graduate profile remained the same.)

 To develop the profile, district staff and site leaders met with and surveyed teachers, administrators, staff, students, and community members to gather input on who they want students to be (i.e., their values upon graduation. After reviewing more than 500 submissions and much discussion and collaboration, district staff developed a profile that was submitted to the public and approved by the Board of Education. That profile is comprised of four major pillars, as described below:

I am College, Career, and Life Ready

Core Academic Knowledge

I have a love of reading and numbers, and I have mastered the college and career readiness standards, as defined by the State of California or my individualized transition plan, so I can graduate and take the next steps in my life.

Life and Professional Skills

I can navigate life and advocate for myself and others.  I can define my personal values, set goals and make a plan. I have skills in financial literacy, job seeking, and how to excel in the workplace. I am engaged in my local community, my relationships, and the wellness of myself and others.

I Seek Opportunities and Challenges of Learning

Critical Thinker and Problem Solver

I have the skills to think critically and creatively to analyze issues, make decisions, express new ideas, and develop solutions to overcome problems. I am able to evaluate information and use facts and data to make informed decisions.

Ability to Stretch, Engage, and Persist

I am a life-long learner who explores the world in a joyful and meaningful way.  I seek new knowledge, skills, and greater responsibility. I am willing to take risks because I know that I can turn my mistakes into learning opportunities.

 I Know Myself and Work Effectively with Others

Socially and Emotionally Aware

 I am motivated to understand myself, my identity, and my culture, and I know this personal discovery is a lifelong journey. I am able to recognize and navigate my emotions, and know how to care for my mental and physical health. I am empathetic, inclusive, and I can interact productively with people I know and don’t know without sacrificing my morals or beliefs.

Effective Collaborator

I am a thoughtful and clear communicator who can express myself and my point of view in various ways. I am a skilled listener who seeks to understand and respect diverse points of view.  I am able to resolve conflict constructively.

I Build Community Through Understanding and Service

Cultural Intelligence

I value, respect, and seek to learn from individuals of diverse cultures, races, ages, learning and physical differences, gender identities, sexual orientations, and religious beliefs because I know these experiences will expand my perspective. 

Civic Responsibility

I recognize how my identity and culture impacts myself and others. I have the capacity to create change and improve the status quo. I am committed to advocating for social and environmental justice.

“The goal is for our graduate profile to provide a touchstone each time we  consider what programs, resources, or supports would best support our students,” says Superintendent Scuderi. “It reminds us   of what we value and what sorts of young people we want to send into the world upon graduation. I hope that together all of us can reflect on these attributes and skills and consider how each of us can support our students in developing them.”