School District 57
From the Desk of the Superintendent
December 1, 2023
Dear District 57 Families,
This school year, the District rolled out the Portrait of a Graduate as part of our new Strategic Plan. This concept highlights the key skills and behaviors our students need to reach their full potential in school and in life. District 57 students and staff are continuing to learn about the skills instrumental to our Portrait of a Graduate concept. This includes growing as collaborative, critical thinking, resilient, empathetic, and adaptable people.
In October, all students got to know what it means to be empathetic. They engaged in discussions about what it looks like, sounds like, and feels like to show empathy. We utilized social media to connect families to this important work happening in the schools.
Now, in the month of December, we’re shifting our focus to critical thinking. Students from preschool through eighth grade will engage in critical thinking with activities such as a paper chain challenge (using a limited number of supplies and time), TED Talk discussions about building critical thinking skills, solving riddles or puzzles using close reading strategies, and more. Students will also be figuring out what critical thinking really looks like, sounds like, and feels like.
Our big goal this year is to identify clear and consistent language, map out how these skills develop, and create shared experiences to help students grow. The District’s Portrait of a Graduate Committee is hard at work developing grade-specific details to guide students in reflecting on and understanding these skills.
In the coming months, students will explore the remaining skills of the Portrait of a Graduate:
January - Collaborative
February - Resilient
March - Adaptable
Exciting things are happening, and we’re thrilled to have you on this learning journey with us!
In the spirit of education,
Dr. Mary Gorr