Portrait of a Graduate

Helping students succeed beyond the classroom.

In 2014, the FCPS School Board developed and adopted the Portrait of a Graduate (POG). This was in collaboration with a variety of stakeholders:

  • parents
  • families
  • local businesses
  • community members
  • educators
  • students
  • our FCPS leadership

This adoption of POG acknowledges that in our rapidly changing world, education needs to evolve to fulfill our mission of supporting student success in school and in life. POG prioritizes the development of skills that will empower students to be productive citizens of a global community and successful in the workforce of the future. 

What skills does a student need to become a successful Portrait of a Graduate?


  • Applies effective reading skills to acquire knowledge and broaden perspectives.
  • Employs active listening strategies to advance understanding.
  • Speaks in a purposeful manner to inform, influence, motivate, or entertain listeners.
  • Incorporates effective writing skills for various purposes and audiences to convey understanding and concepts.
  • Uses technological skills and contemporary digital tools to explore and exchange ideas.



  • Respects divergent thinking to engage others in thoughtful discussion.
  • Demonstrates the ability to work interdependently within a group to promote learning, increase productivity, and achieve common goals.
  • Analyzes and constructs arguments and positions to ensure examination of a full range of viewpoints.
  • Seeks and uses feedback from others to adapt ideas and persist in accomplishing difficult tasks.

Global Citizen

Ethical and Global Citizen

  • Acknowledges and understands diverse perspectives and cultures when considering local, national, and world issues.
  • Contributes to solutions that benefit the broader community.
  • Communicates effectively in multiple languages to make meaningful connections.
  • Promotes environmental stewardship.
  • Understands the foundations of our country and values our rights, privileges, and responsibilities.
  • Demonstrates empathy, compassion, and respect for others.
  • Acts responsibly and ethically to build trust and lead.

Creative Critical Thinker

Creative and Critical Thinker

  • Engages in problem solving, inquiry, and design of innovative solutions to overcome obstacles to improve outcomes.
  • Uses information in novel and creative ways to strengthen comprehension and deepen awareness.
  • Demonstrates divergent and ingenious thought to enhance the design-build process.
  • Expresses thought, ideas, and emotions meaningfully through the arts.
  • Evaluates ideas and information sources for validity, relevance, and impact.
  • Reasons through and weighs evidence to reach conclusions.

Goal Directed Resilient Thinker

Goal-Directed and Resilient Individual

  • Engages in healthy and positive practices and relationships to promote overall physical and mental well-being.
  • Persists to accomplish difficult tasks and to overcome academic and personal barriers to meet goals.
  • Uses time and financial resources wisely to set goals, complete tasks, and manage projects.
  • Shows strong understanding and belief of self to engage in reflection for individual improvement and advocacy.

Resources for Families

Learn more about the Portrait of a Graduate attributes and how to support students at home.