Portrait of a Graduate

Helping students succeed beyond the classroom.

In 2014, FCPS adopted the Portrait of a Graduate to answer this question: What are the skills necessary for success for all children in this rapidly changing, increasingly diverse, and interconnected world? Portrait of a Graduate moves FCPS students and staff members to look beyond the high-stakes testing environment and to help our students develop skills so they can be 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.