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Gwinnett County Public Schools

Portrait of a Graduate

Our Portrait of a Graduate Core Competencies

Graduation is an important milestone in the lives of our students that acknowledges the successful completion of 13 years of education. Boston Latin School was established as the first public high school in 1635 in Boston, Massachusetts. The school still operates today, and like other public schools across the country and here in Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS), in many ways, public schools operate much the same way after nearly 400 years. 

However, we know that the demands on students and teachers, the technology, and the changing populations, particularly in GCPS, warrant a fresh look at what it means to graduate school successfully, prepared for college and career. In the winter of 2022, Gwinnett County Public Schools joined forces with Battelle for Kids to make 21st-century learning a reality for all students. Together, our community helped shape the future direction of our schools—through the design of a Portrait of a Graduate. A Portrait of a Graduate is a collective vision that articulates our community’s aspirations for all of our students. The Portrait of a Graduate is the first step in framing a new vision for our school district and helped shape our district’s new strategic plan, Our Blueprint for the Future.

Design Team representing all aspects of our community, including students, developed the school district’s Portrait of a Graduate, which we believe positions our young people for successful, satisfying lives and a place in our global economy. Over 160 individuals from all across the county came together to create our Portrait of a Graduate Design Team. The team met four times virtually over the course of four months to complete the work in the spring of 2022.

Collectively, team members identified the hopes, aspirations, and dreams that our community has for its young people, as well as the skills and mindsets that our children need for success in this rapidly changing and complex world. The Design Team developed six core competencies that articulate our community’s aspirations for all of our students in GCPS. These core competencies serve as a North Star, driving our strategic plan.


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The six GCPS Portrait of a Graduate competencies are detailed below.