On September 3, Albemarle County Public Schools (ACPS) will convene the first meeting of its Design Team for its new division-wide Portrait of a Graduate. With the help of Battelle for Kids, a national not-for-profit that partners with school divisions in their strategic planning efforts, ACPS will meet virtually with 112 members of the ACPS community who reflect a wide range of perspectives about future school division goals and priorities.
Dr. Patrick McLaughlin, the division’s Chief of Strategic Planning, said of the process, “Our division is taking a highly collaborative approach in creating its new strategic plan. We are engaging a diverse group of community members to develop a Portrait of a Graduate that includes points of view that often have been underrepresented in such efforts.”
The Portrait of a Graduate will act as a guide in creating the division’s strategic plan, which will ensure that schools engage with and meet the needs of all students while preparing them with the knowledge and skills they need to thrive in a complex and rapidly-changing world.
The Design Team is based upon the wide range of experiences, professional expertise, and personal identities of individual members. Many are teachers, support staff, and principals. Also represented are students, alumni and parents, as well as business leaders, community service organizations, and University of Virginia employees. The team will meet regularly to share their input on how the division can best design a portrait based on several dimensions. Some of those include the community’s hopes and aspirations for its young people; the skills and habits of mind that children need for success; the plan’s impact on student learning experiences; and the need for equitable access to learning resources for all students.
“This plan is meant to be a collective, local vision that articulates our community’s hopes for ALL of our students,” McLaughlin continued. “In alignment with the ACPS Anti-Racism Policy, we have brought together an intersectional group representing each of our students in a meaningful way. Our objective in using this team-oriented process is to provide our students with an educational experience that prepares them to be lifelong learners and to make positive contributions in society both while they are our students and in the future.”
The team will meet virtually on five occasions, with a two-part kickoff meeting to begin the process. Those meetings are scheduled as follows:
- Kickoff Meeting: September 3 and 9, from 6 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.;
- Meeting 2: September 21, from 6 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.;
- Meeting 3: October 15, from 6 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.; and
- Meeting 4: October 29, from 6 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.
ACPS holds as its mission to establish a community of learners and learning, through relationships, relevance and rigor, one student at a time. This will factor into the creation of the strategic plan as well.
Meetings of the Design Team will be recorded and posted so that community members can engage in the process used to create the Portrait of a Graduate. After the five meetings have concluded, all interested community members will have the opportunity to participate in the process of creating the new strategic plan when the division holds community forums. These will open to all and have the goal of gathering related input from the entire community. The forums are tentatively scheduled for November 17 and 19. More details about how to join these conversations will be communicated as soon as details are available.
After these community-oriented sessions, the division will launch a community survey on strategic planning, followed by community feedback sessions next winter. A draft of the strategic plan is expected to go before the Albemarle County School Board in May of 2021, and the division hopes to implement its new strategic plan in the 2021-22 school year.
CONTACT: Helen Dunn, Legislative and Public Affairs Officer