Nine Design Principles

  • Superintendent Schulze, Anthony Molina, and students pose in front of house model in library

    1. The graduate profile will guide our work as a District at all levels. The graduate profile reflects our community’s vision for our students. Mastery of the graduate profile is the universal goal for all PUSD learners – whether they choose to go on to four-year college, community college, move immediately into a career or some other post-secondary option. Helping students achieve this profile will require us to align our educational priorities at all levels.

    2. Equitable and accessible technology will connect the world to every student. Today and tomorrow’s world of learning requires access and connection. We must incorporate technology into the learning process, and our community must provide all students with access to highspeed internet that is unlimited, free, fast, available everywhere, all the time. With increased access, students will have the unlimited capacity to further their learning whenever and from wherever they want.

    3. Learning will be studentdriven and real-world relevant. Building on our strong foundation, we will integrate new kinds of learning that are driven by student interest and designed to help each student find and explore their own “sparks”—that is, the ideas and activities that light up their drive to learn. In this way, students’ motivation will be fueled by their own interests— and they will be more engaged in their own learning and development.

    4. A wide network of allies will facilitate student learning. A connected system of caring, culturally diverse adults (teachers, parents, business owners, professionals, community members, mentors, and alumni) will all play roles in supporting the learning process. Having more adults involved in facilitating learning will create new opportunities for smallgroup instruction and tailored lessons and programs. Effective coordination and communication among these allies will enable strong, aligned, and equitable partnerships. It will also enable every student to be known by an adult in our network of allies.

    5. PUSD’s commitment to equity will grow stronger. The district and community acknowledge the link between valuing and honoring diverse perspectives—especially those of students from diverse cultural backgrounds—and the ability of students to achieve their goals. Providing each student and family access to technology, information, and personalized learning opportunities will help the district create a truly equitable school system. Integrating restorative practices into our district and school cultures will continue to increase trust and strengthen our capacity to reach our vision. 

    6. Performance assessments will be adaptive and part of the learning process. The skills, knowledge, dispositions, and behaviors identified in the PUSD graduate profile will be flexibly assessed through a system of authentic, adaptive, real-time performance assessments that are integrated into the learning process. Benchmarks will be rigorous and high and used as guides to design personalized instructional pathways.

    7. Educators will need both support and a growth mindset. Shifts in student learning experiences and environments will require parallel shifts in teacher practice—including more collaboration across school and community, greater use of technology, and facilitating more student-driven learning. The district will need to select, train, and support teachers to instruct and guide in these new ways. A district culture that values ongoing learning for ALL people—including the adults in the system—will be critical. Just as student voice is critical for student learning, so too are teachers’ voices valued and integrated into educational design.

    8. Innovations in systems and structures will enable transformation. District systems, structures, policies, and cultures will need to be adapted and innovated to support the shifts in student learning and in teaching/ leadership practice that will in turn lead to students’ attaining the graduate profile. These shifts will guide decisions and plans for renovation, curriculum and instruction, professional development, programs, and staffing.

    9. A growth mindset and culture of continuous improvement become the “PUSD way.” PUSD has a culture that sees “failure” as both a temporary setback and an opportunity to learn and grow. Strong continuous improvement practices are in place across the system and modeled by district leaders. For students and adults alike, a strong growth mindset is the “way of being and working” and is embraced as part of the district’s work ethic and as a required part of the learning process. PUSD’s policies and systems reflect this growth mindset, as do the culture, language, and attitude that can be seen, heard, and felt throughout the school system.