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Portrait of a Learner


We are excited to announce that we are engaging in the development of a "Portrait of a Learner", which is intended to outline the key characteristics/skills we want to develop in our students throughout their educational journey in WPUSD, so that they graduate ready to successfully navigate their adult lives and achieve their goals. We will be engaging stakeholder groups (staff, students, parents, community partners, etc.) to help us design a portrait that reflects what we all believe students need to ensure they are equipped to tackle their future.

Portrait of a Learner FAQs

What is a Portrait of a Learner?

A Portrait of a Learner organizes a school and a community around the essential skills, knowledge, and habits of mind that 1) represent the community’s vision for learning and 2) prepare students for the world beyond school. A Portrait of a Learner invites a community to come together to discuss and name its vision for what they want to see in their learners for college, career, civic, and life success. It is a community-based process.

Portraits share a few key elements:

  • They are public.
  • They are memorable.
  • They blend the representative and the aspirational.
  • They are actionable.
  • Their content is transdisciplinary.

EXAMPLES of a Portrait of a Leaner

Why is this work important?

Western Placer Unified School District’s Portrait of a Learner will be a simple, public and easily accessible document that helps the school pursue ongoing growth and make decisions based on what a community prioritizes for students. This work is a foundation for future work in our school, classrooms, and community.

How is this different from work we’ve done before?

The ultimate audience is the student and what types of student learning and experiences we want to support and encourage at our schools and in our community. Our aim is to create something actionable that is focused on students and what kinds of learning students will do. By involving stakeholders across the community, making the document public, and supporting ongoing conversation about its use, we believe it will allow us to reflect on and improve our work.

How will this affect how educators do their jobs?

Portraits of Learners are designed to coalesce communities around important, relevant skills and mindsets that matter to students’ futures. There is no set agenda for how this Portrait will be used other than as a guide to ensure the school makes decisions in the best interests of student learning.

Should we be considering how to implement these ideas when we are formulating the Profile of a Learner?

No. Making a clear distinction between the creation and implementation stages of this work allows us to be both aspirational and reflective when articulating what we believe student learning can and should look like at Western Placer Unified School District.

Who is involved?

This process is led by a Design Team representing Western Placer Unified School District schools. It includes a board member, students, and district leaders. The Design Team will gather input from stakeholders across the Western Placer Unified School District community (teachers, students, leadership, parents, alumni, board members, community members) and share drafts with the community for ongoing feedback.