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Portrait Update - March 2024

Portrait Update - March 2024

Dear District 97 Community,

Have you heard about the Portrait of an Oak Park 8th Grade Graduate? Perhaps you have seen references to the Portrait in school, district and community communications but still have questions about exactly what it is. 

Today I want to share three key ideas that answer the question: What is the Portrait

1. The Portrait will be a community-based strategic plan for District 97. We’ve created a short (2 min and 18 seconds) video to explain the Portrait and how you can be involved. CLICK HERE to view >> 

The Portrait will reflect our shared values and aspirations for our students. The process is about dreaming, defining and designing what competency-based success looks like as our D97 students move from Pre-K to 8th grade graduation. With this vision in place, we can courageously transform our district in the coming years by aligning resources (time, people, money and technology) to make sure EVERY student meets or exceeds the Portrait competency standards. 

2. The Portrait will put students in the driver’s seat of their own learning. I have been fortunate to spend time this week with students at Julian Middle School who are preparing for their upcoming production of “Court Martial at Fort Devens” (showing March 8 and 9). As I engage with the students (pictured below), I’ve been thinking about how the Portrait will help us to make sure that our shared vision for young people comes to life through access to dynamic within-school and out-of-school experiences. By the way, I have a cameo in the play and hope to see you in the audience on Friday or Saturday evening this week ;).  

3. The Portrait depends on you. Given that each student is unique, and the needs, opportunities, and challenges facing our students are diverse, we are looking for as much feedback and perspective as possible. Please join us at one of our remaining sessions

  • Our second virtual session will be held tonight, March 7, at 7 p.m. CLICK HERE to RSVP and we'll send you the link prior to the event.
  • In-person sessions next week:
    • March 12 - D97 Alumni Session @ Community Recreation Center (CRC), 6:30 p.m.
    • March 13 - Whittier Elementary School, 6:30 p.m.

You can also chime in with a thought or idea at any time via Let’s Talk.  

With gratitude,

Superintendent Ushma Shah, Oak Park Elementary District 97