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The Emerging Portrait of a Hastings Learner

On Tuesday evening, December 6, a subset of the Portrait of a Hastings Learner Core Team, representing teachers, administrators, students, parents and Board of Education members, presented a draft of the Portrait to the Hastings Board of Education and community.


Inclusive of the voices, experiences, and expertise of the 29-member Core Team, the draft of the emerging Portrait comes as the result of a series of work sessions facilitated by Hastings’ external partner Judith Wilson. After thoughtful analysis of survey data and reflective discussions on the district’s current and future goals, participants created a framework tied to the service of all K-12 students. 


This evolving framework comprises the following key components: the Hastings Commitment, Values, the Portrait itself, Goals, and an 18-month Action Plan to achieve the goals that will be developed from January to April.


For more information on the VALUES, click here.


Refer to slides 8 - 10.


For more information on the POHL characteristics, click here.


Refer to slides 11 - 12.


Members of the Core Team shared their thoughts on the process.


“I was so excited to be a part of this process,” said Farragut Middle School Assistant Principal Kamillah Dawkins. “It was a true bonding experience to hear the various perspectives of each member and witness their passion about what they wanted to contribute."


Two Hastings High School students also weighed in on their involvement.


“From being a student at Hillside to now, as a senior at the High School, I am impressed with how well this document reflects who we are as a district,” said student Gus Renzin. “It’s exciting how impactful these words are and how they succinctly capture our values.”


“When asked our opinions on certain matters, we felt heard,” added student Jael Sanchez. “I think this is going to help the district as a whole, and all the viewpoints will make it the best it can be.”


In the weeks ahead, work will begin on developing the 18-month Action Plan for each of the GOALS that will bring the Portrait to life:


  1. We will foster authentic learning experiences that cultivate passion, aspiration, and action. 
  2. We will nurture a community of diverse thinkers who actively create and participate in a just and compassionate society.
  3. We will honor individuality while respecting our shared humanity.


“This is all being designed for students,” said Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction Dr. Melissa Szymanski. “It’s about building on the bright spots that we already see illuminated.”


Echoing Dr. Szymanski's remarks was Hillside's STEAM Teacher Robin Farrell who said, "We have zoomed in on what makes our district so unique and if we use the Portrait correctly, it's going to help us excel in all the most wonderful ways."


As it all unfolds, we will keep the Board of Education and community informed. We anticipate an upcoming edition of The Buzz! which will feature the emerging Portrait and next steps. Stay tuned for more!