According to district officials, the profile is a description of attributes that an educational community intends its graduates to develop through their study to equip them for their future education or employment. The last profile analysis conducted by the district was in 2012-13, which was the profile of a learner.
To assemble the project, the board partnered with educational services company Engage2Learn during its March 7 meeting. Across April and May, Engage 2 Learn conducted several community feedback efforts in order to help the district define skills and standards for a RISD graduate. This involves organizing community summits, creating an online survey and convening focus groups.
“This [profile] sets the standards and the stage so that you can understand where you want your kids to be as a result of being a part of Richardson ISD,” said Mario Layne, director of strategic partnerships for Engage2Learn. “We want the graduate profile to be a true representative of the beliefs and the thoughts of this community.”
According to Layne, 2,566 participants helped in the community feedback process, allowing a design process team of 27 members to create a brochure for the graduate profile.
In addition, the graduate profile contains five subjects for a RISD graduate: financial literacy, effective communication, critical thinking/problem solving, real world connections and emotional intelligence.
As part of the graduate profile, the district established three learner outcomes, which are defined as tools of academic success for RISD students.
According to these outcomes:
- Every student will develop and apply problem-solving, critical thinking and creativity in real-world scenarios and experiences to achieve individual goals.
- Students will accumulate meaningful and effective communication skills to address audiences appropriately in a variety of ways.
- Each student will have the tools to succeed in their choice of college, postsecondary training and/or post graduation.
Trustee Eric Eager said the assembling of the graduate profile is a critical step in ensuring the district’s success.
“We’re trying to pull together what our community and every parent views as our definition of winning,” Eager said. “Everything we're doing is to make sure that when our kids leave the halls of RISD, that no matter what challenges life throws at them, they have the toolkit and the ways to be ready for life. When you put it on paper and get everybody in the community to state we want that for our kids, it’s important.”
The graduate profile will also be used by a strategic planning team to develop the district’s goals going forward.
Strategic planning is expected to begin in the fall, with further improvement plans estimated to be developed in summer 2023, according to Layne.