In Elizabeth, the school district and business community are working together to prepare students for life after graduation -- even from the earliest years -- by improving career-connected learning so students have a clearer picture of what’s possible for their futures.
Profile of a Graduate
Core to this effort is the Profile of a Graduate, which says the school district will, from kindergarten through graduation, provide opportunities for students to develop seven characteristics that will help them thrive at any stage of life – well beyond their time in school.
The seven competencies on which the district is focused are also ways to describe each graduate:
- Empathetic and collaborative.
- Adaptable and resilient.
- Effective communicator.
- Independent learner.
- Academically prepared.
From elementary school through high school, there are different ways those characteristics are taught and encouraged, in age-relevant ways.
Graduate characteristics at Running Creek
The Profile of a Graduate now integrates with Running Creek Elementary curriculum. The school has used PBIS, the 7 Habits, the Profile of a Graduate as well as Leader In Me curriculum, which addresses social-emotional needs, college and career readiness and leadership development.
The school’s Homegrown Talent Initiative team met over the summer to decide how to integrate all of these concepts and chose to move away from the school’s PBIS acronym and focus on the Leader In Me concepts, with Profile of a Graduate ideals supplementing them.
The team developed resources to show how the terms and concepts work together. For instance, Leader In Me Habit 8 is “Find your voice,” which matches the “Leader” competency in the Profile of a Graduate, and the way the Running Creek staff can explain these to students is: “I found something I am good at and really like doing. I am proud but do not boast. Instead, I use my expertise to help and inspire others.”
Students aren’t expected to show mastery of the concepts – just an understanding that can be built upon as they continue to learn and grow through the district.