21st Century Learner
21st Century Learner Vision
PUSD Scholars as 21st Century Learners
The PUSD Graduate Profile
In 2027, every Pittsburg student will work toward building a valuable set of skills and traits that will set them up as lifelong learners, both inside and outside the classroom. Our learners aren’t just “students.” They are also:
Students can work collectively
with others. They contribute their
strengths to group efforts and
take responsibility for the work
assigned to them. They know how
to lead group work and how to give
and receive constructive feedback.
Students master core content areas,
understand the interconnections
between subjects, and value
the learning experience. They also
learn to appreciate multiple perspectives
on an issue and the impacts
of local and global issues on
Students feel connected to local
and global issues and do their
part to make the world a better
place. They are active in their
respect across difference, and
know how to advocate for themselves
and for others.
Students develop strong analytical
skills. They are able to synthesize
information, identify valid
source material, and think creatively
to solve problems. They
also develop the confidence and
skill to ask good questions.
Students are self-directed learners
who know how to pursue ideas,
find resources, and ask for help.
They know how to take calculated
risks and possess the resolve and
perseverance to follow through
on their work and their responsibilities.
Students can express their
thoughts clearly both verbally and
through writing. They can speak
confidently to a variety of audiences
and know how to represent
themselves. They can also speak
and write in more than one language.
Students are organized, know
how to manage both their time
and their finances, and understand
the value of managing
their own health as well. They
understand workplace etiquette,
honor punctuality, and stay current
Students know how to listen to
others, relate to what they are
hearing, and check for understanding.
They have a healthy sense of
self, are self-reflective, and know
how to manage their own emotional
responses to difficult situations.
The district will use three sets of guidelines to make Vision 2027 a reality:
• PUSD’s Graduate Profile—a set of skills and traits that every student graduating from PUSD will have developed through their school experience
• Reimagining Learning— descriptions of the kinds of new learning experiences that will enable students to meet the Graduate Profile
• Nine Design Principles— basic rules that will guide how the district community works together to make the vision a reality
Bringing Vision 2027 to life—and aligning our systems, programs, and resources around this vision—will require us to “reimagine” the learning experience for our students. Here are some illustrative examples of what that experience might look and feel like, generated by our community during the visioning process.
Learning takes place “everywhere and anytime”
The traditional school day and traditional school setting shift and expand in dynamic new ways. New common project areas in our schools and our public facilities foster constant teamwork and collaboration. In some places, nature becomes the classroom—or comes into the classroom in ways that link learning with the natural environment. Highly accessible technologies connect learners to educators and facilitators virtually anywhere at any time. Students are exposed to new content and new ideas through teacher-selected online lessons that students review at their own pace and time.
Learning is experiential, immersive, and connected to community.
Hands-on learning both within and outside the classroom setting infuses the high school experience. Work-based and real-world learning opportunities with local businesses and organizations, in nature and in museums, and through virtual journeys and simulations help students connect what they are learning to the outside world and develop a vision for their own professional future. Community members, mentors, professionals, parents, other caregivers, and alumni become actively engaged in our learning ecosystem.
Learning is highly personalized, and shaped by student voice, choice, and need.
There is flexibility in the design, sequence, and timing of each student’s learning. Every student has their own personalized pathway toward achieving the graduate profile. These pathways include opportunities for students to link their learning to their interests and passions. This individualized learning approach will require a shift away from traditional thinking. It will also require the district to build a portfolio of resources that extends deeply into the community.
Technology is integrated into the learning experience.
Simulations and online gaming platforms provide real-time performance feedback and help build tolerance for “failure.” Students gain not just basic computer literacy but experience with advanced technologies that they might encounter in the workplace. And data analytics provide authentic, adaptive, real-time performance assessments that get integrated into the learning process. Reliable and free internet access for all students and families becomes foundational to the learning experience and a critical equity goal. So does access to cloudsupported and portable devices that enable students to learn outside of school and instruction that help families learn how to navigate and use these tools.
Learning is not just local—it’s global.
In an increasingly interconnected world, it is crucial that our students gain a global perspective through exposure to global issues and cultures. Learning about the world and what matters to people in other cultures and countries will be critical to students’ ability to relate to others and to thrive in the workforce, whether they choose to stay in the greater Bay Area or live and work in faraway places. Developing the skills to navigate a global society (bilingualism, technological expertise, etc.) is critical for all students.
Nine Design Principles
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.