Portrait of a Graduate

The Shawnee Mission School District (SMSD) has a vision for what every student will know and be able to do on their graduation day. We call it the SMSD Portrait of a Graduate. It highlights the key skills and attributes critical to life success.

Portrait of a Graduate PDF

The Portrait of a Graduate reflects our community’s vision. It was developed in the 2019-20 school year by individuals including students, parents, educators, counselors, and partners from business and industry. 

These individuals represented all district feeder patterns and individuals who are English Language Learners.  

Their work was rooted in the district’s Strategic Plan Objective that each student will have a personalized learning plan that will prepare them for college and careers, with the interpersonal skills they need for life success. Our portrait of a graduate includes the following skills and attributes: 

College and Career Readiness

•     Moves from acquisition of knowledge to application of knowledge in real world setting
•     Success measured by competency, 
not seat time
•     Integrates content across subject areas
•     Market Value Assets Attainment (Industry Credentials, College Credit, Work-Based Learning, Entrepreneurial Experiences)
•     Courses taken align with student interests and aptitudes 

Interpersonal Skills

•     Open-endedness
•     Teamwork with structure
•     Well-practiced social skills
•     Embedded life skills
•     Emotional intelligence
•     Leadership skills and capacity 

Personal Resilience 

•     Learns independently
•     Explores known topics deeper
•     Health and wellness for future life needs
•     Drive/Passion
•     Lifelong learner
•     Self reflection; seek and use feedback
•     Advocate for self and others 

Personalized Learning

This is achieved through personalized learning, defined as learning which places the whole child at the center of instruction and is informed by strong educator/student/family/community relationships to provide equity and choice in time, place, path, pace and demonstration of learning. 


•     Community service
•     Social justice awareness
•     Multi-lingual
•     Financial fitness
•     Creates value for others
•     Values differences