In 2020, a small committee of faculty and staff gathered on Zoom to draft a “Portrait of a Graduate”— a paradigm leading independent schools adopt as a guide for developing curriculum and program. A Portrait of a Graduate is a set of attributes, skills, and qualities a school believes every student should possess when they walk across the stage at graduation to be ready for college and for life.
Buckley’s Portrait of a Graduate committee was comprised of teachers from Lower, Middle, and Upper School, along with staff from the offices of admission, college counseling, and communications, the head of school, and members of the board of trustees. Together, they formed a “think tank,” conducting research within the Buckley community by surveying and interviewing the parent community, faculty, staff, alumni, and trustees, and studying the research of marketing and consulting firms that study the future of economics, technology, and culture.
In addition, the parent community, faculty, staff, and Board of Trustees weighed in on the attributes they believed every student should possess. Those initial contributions, along with research on best practices, data trends, and studies on the future of industry and culture, became the committee’s groundwork. Starting with phrases such as “confident,” “empathetic,” “resilient,” and “critical thinker,” the brainstorming began!