More than 80 participants from 12 Berks County school districts participated in the 2022-2023 Berks County Intermediate Unit (BCIU) Leadership Series, “The Future of Learning: Empowering All Students to Co- Author Their Personal Learning Journeys.” This three-day event focused on developing and refining districts’ “Portrait of a Graduate,” and culminated on January 5. Unique to each district, a Portrait of a Graduate outlines the 21st century skills that a district believes their students should embody and exemplify by graduation.
The first step towards a Portrait of a Graduate is to solidify a district vision of 21st-century, deeper learning. Districts must consider the core skills, traits, and, dispositions students need to be successful in college or careers after high school graduation. According to the World Economic Forum, some of these skills include analytical thinking and innovation, complex problem- solving, creativity, resilience, and leadership and social influence. Consideration must be given to incorporating those skills, traits, and dispositions into rigorous content and measuring progress toward them. Students and teachers become engaged co-designers of learning. This requires that the school district create the conditions that support the shifting role of educators and leaders to bring the Portrait of a Graduate vision to life for every student.
Some of the attending districts already had a Portrait of a Graduate, thus they worked to refine and strengthen their Portraits. Other districts were in the emerging stage in their work around this topic. Wherever they were in the process, all attendees gained valuable information, collaborated with their teams, and had the opportunity to consult with the leading experts in this field.
The BCIU worked with the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) to bring a renowned group of facilitators to guide districts in their learning:
• Dr. David Schuler, AASA Executive Director, and 2018 AASA National Superintendent of the Year
• Ms. Jamie Meade, Vice President and Chief of Staff at Battelle for Kids
• Dr. Brian Troop, Ephrata Area School District Superintendent, and the 2023 Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators (PASA) Superintendent of the Year
For additional information about the Leadership Series, contact
Dr. Christina Foehl, Assistant Director of the BCIU Office of Professional Learning, at firstname.lastname@example.org.