The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction released a comprehensive set of resources today to help schools and teachers successfully implement the North Carolina Portrait of a Graduate in classrooms. These resources are aligned to the statewide Portrait initiative launched by the agency last fall to ensure that North Carolina students are exposed to key skills and mindsets during their K-12 education. These skills and mindsets, known as durable skills, were identified by North Carolina educators, students, families, higher education and business leaders to better equip students for success after high school and to prepare them for the pathway of their choosing after graduation: career, college or military.
The resources made available today were created by more than 120 teachers and administrators from across the state and provide tools for educators to intentionally weave the Portrait’s seven durable skills into daily lesson plans based on grade level.
“Identifying the durable skills that North Carolina students should possess by the time they graduate high school was important,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt, “but this resource creation phase was critical. These resources serve as the technical roadmap for classroom teachers to be intentional about integrating the durable skills into daily lesson plans. While the Portrait itself drives alignment between workforce needs and student preparation, it is our educators who help expose students to the real-world competencies during their K-12 journey that truly prepare them for life after graduation.”
The resources include rubrics, “I Can” statements, and suggestions for use. Together, they are intended to serve as guides for developing, understanding, monitoring and measuring student progress from pre-K to high school graduation.
“These rubrics were designed by educators for educators, which means the perspectives shared during creation came from those inside North Carolina’s classrooms,” said Elizabeth Santamour, 2022 Sandhills Region Teacher of the Year, who was involved in the rubric-creation process. “As someone who seeks to foster the development of students in a way that prepares them for a successful future, I am certain that focusing on these durable skills in the classroom will prepare our students for enrollment, enlistment or employment upon graduation from a North Carolina public school.”
The rubrics provided to educators:
- Define the criteria associated with each of the durable skills outlined in the Portrait.
- Define important skills and dispositions associated with each of the durable skills.
- Support the design of learning experiences in which students practice and apply targeted durable skills.
- Illustrate a continuum of performance, including exemplary performance that exceeds expectations, for each criterion.
- Provide a common vocabulary for stakeholders regarding durable skills.
Also included in the resources released today are “I Can” statements. These materials place students at the center of assessing and improving their performance with durable skills. They are meant to be used by students to make sense of the durable skills, allowing for self-assessment and reflection of their performance during and at the culmination of learning experiences.
The rubrics and accompanying documents are an addition to the existing Portrait resources, which also include a communications toolkit and the Portrait of a Graduate Playbook. The next phase of Portrait of a Graduate work is designing reliable and effective assessments of durable skills.