Early Childhood Portrait of a Graduate

Creating Lifelong Learners

Portrait of a Graduate

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?

The Portrait of a Graduate attributes are communicator, collaborator, ethical and global citizen, creative and critical thinker, and a goal-directed and resilient individual. Promoting these skills enhance student success pre-kindergarten and beyond.

Below are some Early Childhood examples on how children demonstrate these attributes.



Jason engaged with Amena during work time.  They are studying community helpers and their play naturally incorporated what they were learning and their own personal experience. Jason said to Amena that he needed to check her ears to make sure she can hear. Amena, understanding the request, held her head still and laughed when Jason told her “all clear.” Amena then pointed to the stethoscope indicating that she wanted Jason to check her breathing.  

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During work time this small group of children decided to develop a picnic. Each child brought specific background knowledge that they contributed to the play. For example, pizza was served as the main dish but there were not enough play pizzas for all to have a piece. Together they negotiated how to rotate the pizza so that everyone had a turn. In addition, other children independently added elements like the blanket to the picnic, plates etc. and sought feedback on whether it was an appropriate addition to the picnic. This play would be a foundation for discussing family celebration and creating a classroom celebration in the second quarter.

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Ethical and Global Citizen

After rest time these students work together to keep their classroom organized and safe. Every day they come together to help each other clean up their rest time cots. Working together they contribute to a solution that benefits the entire classroom community, while also acting responsibly.

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Creative and Critical Thinker

The balance was introduced in a small group earlier in the year and placed in a science discovery area for further exploration. Jose and Brian decided to do some experimenting of their own with the balance by putting acorns on one side and pumpkin seeds on the other. Prior to placing the materials on the balance they each took a turn picking up the acorns and seeds and made predictions about which would weigh more. Their initial prediction was confirmed, the acorns weighed more than the seeds. They then tried adding additional seeds to see if they could make the balance even. They concluded that it would take a lot more seeds then they had to equal the weight of the acorn seeds.

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Goal-Directed and Resilient Individual

Molly was asked to put her library book in her backpack. Her teacher made an accommodation by adding a wooden step so that Molly could successfully reach her backpack. Maintaining stability while also holding onto an object and taking a step up is a challenge for Molly but she persisted, initially with adult help then independently by holding on and pushing off the floor. Molly is now able to independently access her backpack.

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For more information about the Portrait of a Graduate, please visit https://www.fcps.edu/about-fcps/portrait-graduate