Network 11 Schools Reveal New Portraits of a Graduate

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Publish date: May 16, 2024
Categories: News from the Network
Post author: Sal Navarro

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LiberatED Way hosted an End-of-Year Community Showcase for their Chicago Public Schools Network 11 school partners on Saturday, May 4 at Kennedy-King College in Chicago’s Englewood community. Anna R. Langford Community Academy, Nicholson STEM Academy, and Stagg Elementary School brought their school pride and spirit to the showcase! Teamwork Englewood, Urban Initiatives, Englewood CAC, and Stay L.I.T. Community Youth Services also joined the showcase to highlight the important work they’re doing in partnership with Network 11 schools to support student outcomes.

Educators, community members, school leaders, and families attended the showcase to see the new graduate portraits of each school for the first time. Network 11 Chief of Schools, Dr. Annise Lewis, energized attendees and highlighted the importance of continuous input and support from community members. “When we get what we want for our children, something magical happens,” said Lewis.

Over the course of five months, LiberatED Way guided each school in the design of graduate portraits tailored to the unique contexts and needs of each school community. The graduate portraits include tenets and dispositions that embody the qualities and values each school community envisions for students who graduate from their schools.

Lewis introduced Mark Carson, Principal at Nicholson STEM Academy, Pamela Bolden, Principal at Stagg Elementary School and Nadra Ruff, Principal at Anna R. Langford Community Academy, to reflect on how their visions for graduate portraits were brought to life.

Stagg Elementary’s Student Dance Team took the stage soon after and performed a lively dance routine for attendees, building the energy for the parade of portraits from each school. Each school leader brought staff and members from their school communities to the main stage to reveal their new graduate portrait designs.

Following the parade of portraits, a panel composed of staff and community members who participated in the community design process shared their experiences. “It was really energizing to hear how much the adults in the community care,” said Dana Landau, Lead Director of Procurement at Urban Initiatives, who participated on Nicholson’s design team.

The community design process was a collaborative effort that included facilitated discussions about identity, self-exploration, implicit bias, and academic rigor. This ensured that the design team was equipped with the necessary mindsets and resources to depict an accurate and inclusive graduate portrait for their school communities. The process also collected multiple perspectives and feedback from parents, making them an integral part of the final designs.

Student-centered graduate portraits unify school communities to rally behind a shared vision for students’ academic outcomes. Learn more about LiberatED Way’s community-centered design approach.

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