Graduates of South San Francisco Unified School District (SSFUSD) should be lifelong learners who are ready for college and career and equipped with skills that will help them navigate the world and engage with their community collaboratively.
This, according to Superintendent Dr. Shawnterra Moore, was the consensus of a 10-month-long strategic planning process involving almost 4,000 students, parents, employees, and community members.
“It has been a tremendous journey for our community to develop this portrait of a graduate,” said Dr. Moore during a presentation at the May 11 school board meeting. “Our vision has always been to engage in thoughtful ways and strategic ways, so that we could truly ensure an equitable and inclusive process.”
She said the portrait of a graduate prioritizes academic excellence, intellectual curiosity, creativity, and resourcefulness to help students become lifelong learners.
As a description of the knowledge and skills students need to be successful after graduating from high school, Dr. Moore said the district’s new portrait of a graduate seeks to prepare students for the real world through the development of skills such as self-discipline and time management, while also promoting physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
“We seek for our students to be able to navigate their future purposefully—whether that is through a career or college—and to be conversant with their technology skills as well as their financial literacy skills,” said Dr. Moore.
Student trustee Tania Torres from South San Francisco High said she was glad to see how community members were able to provide input, take part in research, and share their own experiences.
“I think it’s great that the community was really involved in this process,” she said. “I think that’s the most vital thing.”
SSFUSD School Board President Chialin Hsieh asked whether it would make sense to codify additional ideals such as compassion, kindness, and connection into the description.
“It’s an expectation,” said board member Amanda Anthony. “I think it underlies what we do. . .It’s part of how you get there—working together by building relationships or connections.”
Dr. Moore said she would update the portrait of a graduate based on the school board’s feedback and then develop a multi-year plan to help students reach the ideals delineated in the document.