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Portrait of a Graduate Preparing Students at Schalmont for careers in the 21st Century.

A lot has changed since 1893. Unfortunately, says Schalmont CSD Superintendent Dr. Carol Pallas, the basic model for how we educate children isn’t one of them. The Portrait of a Graduate (POG) committee is comprised of concerned teachers, staff, students and community members. Its charge is complex, but essential for future learners: Design a profile of a graduate that takes into account the many changes in society, education, employment, and workplace competition that have occurred over the past century.

The POG committee is comprised of concerned teachers, staff, students and community members. Its charge is complex, but essential for future learners: Design a profile of a graduate that takes into account the many changes in society, education, employment, and workplace competition that have occurred over the past century.

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Competencies Needed FOR THE 21st Century STUDENT

While it is important to reflect on change, at Schalmont we also want to focus on what competencies our young people will need to address all of this change. In this section we want to briefly address some of the 21st century competencies that we should consider in our deliberations about 21st century education. The following competencies were decided on by a committee of Schalmont parents, students, staff, and community members. They are the qualities the district wished to instill in future graduates.

Critical Thinking

At Schalmont we are seeking to cultivate a generation of citizens who can use their critical thinking skills and apply them to processes. Today’s young citizens require critical thinking skills to operate in an environment cluttered with competing information that requires them to compare evidence, and make decisions in complex policy areas from health policy to financial regulation policy to environmental policy.

Communication

Schalmont graduates communicate effectively in diverse environments for a range of purposes (e.g. to inform, instruct, motivate, and persuade.)

Collaboration

Schalmont students respect divergent thinking that engages others in thoughtful discussion. They demonstrate the ability to work interdependently within a group to promote learning, increase productivity, and achieve common goals while seeking feedback from others to adapt ideas and accomplish tasks.

Creativity and Innovation

Schalmont graduates demonstrate originality and inventiveness. They adapt according to real world limits and use a wide range of idea creation techniques.

Self-Direction

Schalmont students demonstrate intellectual curiosity and a commitment to learning as a lifelong process and they develop self-awareness as a learner and adapt their learning strategies accordingly. They are capable of planning, prioritizing and managing efficiently to achieve the goals of specific projects or problems. They seek out opportunities to apply newly-acquired knowledge and skills to further understanding, and take deliberate and intelligent risks and learns from the outcome.

Flexibility and Adaptability

Schalmont graduates can adapt to varied roles, jobs, responsibilities, schedules, and contexts. They work effectively in climates of ambiguity and changing priorities. They’re able to incorporate feedback effectively and deal positively with praise, setbacks, and criticism.

Metacognition

Schalmont students learn to reflect on their learning experiences and apply their insights to future situations. They learn to monitor and direct their own learning, adapting their approach as needed to successfully complete a task or solve a problem.

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

Schalmont students learn to collect, assess, and analyze relevant information. Graduates are able to use systems thinking to reason effectively. They identify, define, and solve authentic problems and essential questions. They reflect critically on learning experiences, processes, and solutions.

Other Competencies

In addition to the seven competencies we have discussed above we recommend that you look at the Partnership for 21st Century Skills’ full framework, which you can find at www.P21.org. You will see a number of other skills that we have not highlighted in this primer: • Information, media, and technology • Global Competence • Financial Literacy • Productivity and accountability • Leadership and responsibility • Civic literacy • Health literacy • Environmental literacy

About Schalmont CSD

The Schalmont Central School District spans across five towns and three counties to serve approximately 1,900 students in kindergarten through 12th grade. The district is home to three school buildings—Jefferson Elementary School, Schalmont Middle School and Schalmont High School.