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Graduate Profile as Tool for Accelerating Personalized Learning Opportunities

Competencies in this foundational document provide north stars to guide decisions


Liberty Public Schools grounds instructional decision making in developing graduate competencies in five areas. Leaders used this profile to advance deeper learning models as well as create virtual, personalized learning opportunities. In 2019, Liberty Public Schools formally adopted a new strategic plan that articulated a “graduate profile” centered on five domains of skills. This profile explicitly broadened the district vision for student learning.

“We created a graduate profile and are working towards a K-12 process by which we measure things beyond just the academic portion of our learning...Our profile ties to our competency work. It ties to our personalized learning. It ties to our real-world learning goals where our kids graduate with what we're calling ‘market value assets.’ So a diploma plus something, like nine-to-12 hours of college or plus an internship experience or plus some entrepreneurial process that they've had. We're really pushing that on our end.” - Dr. Jeanette Westfall, Assistant Superintendent- Instructional Design, Liberty Public Schools


When the pandemic hit, the graduate profile served as a foundational document and critical tool for helping the district continue to drive innovation and make the case for considering deeper work (such as project-based and personalized learning) as “essential” during the crisis.

The profile helped reinforce design decisions, like continuing to support project- and competency-based learning during the pandemic. The schools also tested new approaches, like the introduction of a virtual “THRIVE on Five” which is a district-wide personalized learning day every Friday at the end of the virtual school week. Students of all ages were asked to work through a choice board of different activities aligned to the profile areas, choosing three mini-projects. These activities were not graded, but students were asked to reflect on and share learning with others, including teachers and, if desired, on social media.

Leaders point to the profile as a key driver for these conversations and for communicating values and priorities while making decisions about teaching and learning.

“Those are great conversations that we're having with teachers as we have had to really look at what is essential this year...We have actually had this conversation this year, is at what point do we un-industrialize our system? So we all recognize that the smaller class sizes and that combination of learning is working. It works, and it makes the learning more effective. And yet when we do that, we start challenging the really established components of things.” -Dr. Westfall

This strategy is a part of TLA's Hop, Skip, Leapfrog release, which explores the concrete ways in which schools and systems pursued student-centered innovation during COVID-19. Explore the full guide to find additional strategies, insights, and resources.

Strategy Resources

THRIVE on Five Introductory Video

This video, featuring students, introduces the THRIVE on Five virtual personalized learning days piloted at... Learn More

THRIVE on Five Overview and Choice Boards

This communication sent from the district to families and students explained the launch of and... Learn More