One of my goals for the 2022-23 school year is to embrace the Portrait of an Explorer and incorporate its themes into our school community. The Portrait of an Explorer is often referred to as our North Star.
If you are not familiar, the Portrait of an Explorer was drafted in 2019 as part of the strategic planning process and was a collaboration between staff, students and community members. Contributors were challenged to consider what characteristics are needed to be a lifelong learner and contributor in our ever-changing world. During the four-month process, those engaged in the process answered the questions:
- What are the hopes, aspirations, and dreams that our community has for our young people?
- What are the skills and habits of mind (or competencies) that our children need for success in this rapidly changing and complex world?
- What are the implications for the learning experiences we provide in our school systems?
The end result was six different competencies that they believe all Hudson students should possess: Engaged Collaborator, Empathetic Contributor, Adaptive Problem Solver, Ethical Citizen, Lifelong Learner and Critical Thinker.
My focus is on bringing awareness of these skills to our students in six different Explorer-themed days throughout this year. I’ve enlisted the help of several Hudson High School students and teacher Marc Zustin, who is the advisor for the Student Hudson Community First Board at HHS. This group will help facilitate programming and assist in its implementation in our buildings. You will start to see Portrait of an Explorer posters pop up in the buildings and T-shirts with the portrait logo around campus, and hopefully, students will be talking more about the six principles.
Not only is the work on the Portrait of an Explorer purposeful, but it will also have a unifying effect as we learn more about six skills throughout all of our five buildings. Our first Portrait of an Explorer Day will be Friday, Oct. 7. We will communicate more as the year progresses.
It has been wonderful to talk with families and get to know those in the community as our students returned to school. As always, reach out if you have questions or concerns, email@example.com. And, Go Explorers! ∞