School district begins ‘Portrait of a Learner’ design work

Dec 17, 2022

Dartmouth Public Schools has kicked off a community-wide effort to develop its “Portrait of a Learner” — a graphic representation that identifies the skills and knowledge that students will develop throughout their journey as a public-school student, Pre-K through grade 12. 

According to Secondary Level Director of Teaching and Learning Ross Thibault, the portrait “is a promise between the school department and the students and families it serves.”

“Done well, [it] serves as the north star for a school district and can help create a shared vision of equity and excellence within the school community,” he said.  

To assist in developing the portrait, the school district has partnered with Envision Learning Partners, a consultancy group with extensive experience developing learner portraits by collaborating with school systems across the United States. 

Recently, Executive Director of Envision Learning Partners Justin Wells facilitated a day of professional learning with members of Dartmouth Public Schools Strategic Planning Team. 

Members of the team include building administration and educators from each school in the district. 

“Dartmouth Public Schools are committed to ensuring all students receive a quality education that prepares them for future success” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bonny Gifford. “Our Portrait of a Learner will help prioritize and guide the strategic work of our district over the next three to five years as we strive to ensure every student who passes through our hallways graduates fully prepared for success along a pathway of their choosing.”   

The school district will be soliciting input from a variety of community members including students, parents, alumni, educators, elected town officials, partners in higher education, and members of the surrounding business community as the portrait design continues. Additional information will be provided on the school’s website and through future communications for those members of the community interested in sharing their voice as part of the process.