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Superintendent Blog: West Clermont Words

West Clermont Words: Portrait of a Graduate


by Natasha L. Adams

This blog entry is the sixth and final in a six-part series that focuses on the district’s strategic plan.

When do you think of the word “portrait” what comes to mind? Maybe it is a polaroid (remember those?) or maybe it’s a selfie you took with a loved one more recently. Whatever image comes to mind, I’m sure it includes a person, a feeling, a moment captured in time.

We created our Portrait of a Graduate with the same implications in mind—one in which each graduate feels accomplished and prepared to face the future ahead and with fond memories of the place, time, and people that prepared them for whatever lies ahead.

To explain how we ended up where we did, we must go back to when we began the strategic planning process and asked one fundamental question: What do our graduates need to be successful in learning and life?

We asked students, staff, parents, community members, and business owners to identify the skills and abilities they felt were most important for all learners to master by the end of 12th grade to prepare them for whatever direction they choose—enrollment in college, employment in the workforce, or enlistment into the military. As we progressed through the strategic planning process, it became clear that we must remain committed to preparing every student to be successful for any of these three pathways.

As a result, our Portrait of a Graduate includes five key areas: Academic & life preparation, communication & collaboration, character & integrity, innovative & creative thinking, and resiliency & adaptability. By helping all of our West Clermont students set a foundation of success in these five areas, we will set up every student for success in learning and in life, no matter which path they choose.

As a result of our strategic planning process, West Clermont School District has a bold new vision for teaching and learning that aims to inspire today’s learners in new ways so they are academically prepared to learn for life! Our student-centered learning model enables students to take greater ownership of their learning in and outside the classroom. And, it requires the people in their classrooms, families, and communities to form partnerships with them in their learning journey. Student work changes from finding or memorizing the right answers, to becoming more curious, asking questions, and solving interesting problems to better learn how to learn and apply that learning to new situations.

In addition, our learning model includes leadership development which requires each student to invest in personal growth, build strong connections and relationships, effectively communicate and collaborate with others.

We also want to ensure that every learner in West Clermont, including students, staff, parents, and community members, have high expectations—their hopes and dreams for the future. To be successful, students must learn to transfer their academic knowledge and skills to make a difference in the world. All students must understand their unique needs, interests, and passions so that they can leave high school equipped with what they need to develop a plan and purpose as they explore post-secondary options.

And so, as we align our work to equip students with these tools – both in and out of the classroom, from preschool through 12th grade – the Portrait of a Graduate serves to focus our efforts on Every Student, Every Day, and in Every Way. Because “Together as one community, we LEARN. LEAD. SUCCEED.”

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