Graphic showing six content areas of Portrait of a Graduate

    "Each graduate of Coeur d'Alene Public Schools will be equipped with the knowledge, skills and dispositions needed to pursue their future."

    We cannot predict our children’s future, but we can and must do a great deal more to adequately prepare them for it. 

    When we think about the young people in our community who are preparing to enter the workforce, head off to college or trade school, join the military or make other post-graduation plans, we want to be assured they are equipped with the knowledge, skills and character traits that will prepare them for success. 

    In 2017, Coeur d’Alene Public Schools began a community conversation to capture our citizens’ hopes for the future of our students. The goal underpinning these discussions was to forge a common vision for education that will prepare our young people for education, work and life after high school.

    We began with a year-long series of District data summits in 2017-18, and followed those with community listening sessions, student focus groups and staff meetings to collect ideas, sort through feedback, and synthesize information.

    Clear themes emerged from the community discussions. Families, students and educators seemed to agree that ongoing changes in our community, our world and the economy necessitate that our administrators and teachers improve the learning experiences of our students. Students must graduate with the knowledge, dispositions, habits of mind, and skillsets to be successful in 21st century work, post-high school education, and active citizenship in our community.

    In addition, general consensus emerged from the community regarding the characteristics most important for graduates of Coeur d'Alene Public Schools. They should possess not only strong content mastery but other important skills and traits, or what we've dubbed the "six Cs" of our Portrait of a Graduate: all areas we want our students to be able to demonstrate competency in upon graduation:

    The Portrait of a Graduate is who we want our students to become as they conclude their educational journey with us. To accomplish this, our Portrait must be the guiding star of the District's Strategic Plan. Developed in 2019 and 2020, the Strategic Plan contains seven pillars that outline all of our efforts to graduate students who are better prepared for life, college and 21st century careers.

    The Portrait of a Graduate and the seven strategic pillars were created to guide the work of every district employee to ensure each child in our school district can successfully demonstrate their competency in the knowledge, skills and dispositions of our Portrait of a Graduate.


    Photo of a 2019 community workshop to help develop our Portrait of a Graduate. What happens when you bring together a diverse group of people who care deeply about the quality of education in our community and ask them to brainstorm the skills, knowledge and character traits we want our students to have upon graduation?

    We found out during a series of public workshops and listening sessions, when we invited the community to brainstorm with us on how to build our Portrait of a Graduate. We invited our community to identify the cognitive, personal and relationship-based abilities that we want our students to possess upon graduation from Coeur d'Alene Public Schools. Parents, students, educators, policymakers, local employers, business leaders, nonprofit organizations and others participated in a series of workshops around this goal.

    Participants offered us such ideas as critical thinking skills, emotional intelligence, time management, financial literacy, resilience, higher reasoning, teamwork and much more. They helped us identify the cognitive, personal and relationship-based abilities that employers tell us they are looking for in our graduates.