Portrait of a Graduate

The Right Work, Right Now

As school leaders, it is important to ask:

  • What are the hopes, aspirations, and dreams that our community has for our young people?
  • What are the skills and habits of mind that our children need for success in this rapidly changing and complex world?
  • What are the implications for the design of the learning experiences—and equitable access to those experiences—we provide in our school systems?

The Portrait of a Graduate design process involves a sustained community conversation leading to shared agreement about a unique community-owned picture of what graduates need for success. Every community and its school system is different, so every approach will be tailored to the local context.

Big picture

Prairie Lakes AEA is supporting Portrait of a Graduate in schools and communities as we work together to:


  • Create an action plan to make your Portrait a reality
  • Measure outcomes in all four of the state's CCR Outcome Categories

Sessions have been scheduled to outline and begin the process of creating a Portrait of a Graduate for your district.



For those who weren't able to attend the November session, a short overview will be held from 8:30-9:30 a.m. on Jan. 6 at the PLAEA office in Pocahontas.


If you attended the overview sessions, please consider registering for the Jan. 6 deeper dive session in Pocahontas from 9:45-3:00 to accomplish the following outcomes:


  • Dig deeper using additional data, resources, tools, and processes that will support your Portrait of a Graduate Team in Phases 1-3.
  • Make connections to your current initiatives and use this information in a communication plan for how to message this work
  • Begin identifying your stakeholders to include on your team
  • Create an action plan for the design process, including how to engage your team in the work, a draft timeline, and activities/data/tools to facilitate Phases 2-3.

Andrea Stewart, Director of The Center


The purpose of The Center is to develop Iowa’s capacity to leverage learner-centered, personalized, and competency-based ecosystems as pathways to future readiness.

The Center facilitates networks of educators and community-based stakeholders who have a passion for meeting students where they are to co-create rigorous, authentic learning experiences.

Questions? Contact us!

Julie Graber ~ jgraber@plaea.org

Mark Shea ~ mshea@plaea.org