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POG News Updates

District Moves Forward With Community’s Vision
for Student Success

September 7, 2022 - 
The Barr Foundation has awarded Springfield Public Schools (SPS) $650,000 to move forward the community’s vision for student success. The “Portrait of a Graduate” (POG) work began three years ago, and the resulting vision has become the north star for the school’s ongoing transformation.

The Barr Foundation’s Portrait of a Graduate cohort was launched in 2019 following a request for proposals. The goal was to identify communities interested in building a community-driven Portrait of a Graduate, which represents a vision of what all students will know and be able to do upon graduation in order to thrive in college, career, and community.

In 2021, ten of the original fourteen POG communities, which includes SPS, advanced from the initial portrait planning and design phase and were awarded additional grant support to begin taking the first steps to bring their portraits to practice. The district is now entering the next phase to advance equitable student opportunities and outcomes in schools by building out responsive school models that hold the POG as the north star.

“We are extremely happy to continue our Portrait of a Graduate work with the Barr Foundation and have seen tangible results from our previous grants over the past three years,” said Superintendent of Schools Daniel Warwick. “This work is important, and we remain committed to ensuring all our young people are able to thrive in school and beyond.”

SPS has named key priorities that will be most impactful for actualizing the portrait and creating more equitable schools. These key priorities center around indicators of school quality and include rigor; relevant, and purposeful learning experiences; high expectations for all students; authentic opportunities for student voice and choice; and intentional systems that ensure all students are known and supported.

“We are excited to continue to support the communities in the Portrait of a Graduate cohort to reimagine the school experience,” said Ali Gross, program officer at the Barr Foundation. “Springfield has taken an important first steps in developing a collective vision for their graduates and starting to bring that vision to life.”

About the Barr Foundation

The Barr Foundation’s mission is to invest in human, natural, and creative potential, serving as thoughtful stewards and catalysts. Based in Boston, Barr focuses regionally, and selectively engages nationally, working in partnership with nonprofits, foundations, the public sector, and civic and business leaders to elevate the arts, advance solutions for climate change, and connect all students to success in high school and beyond. Founded in 1997, Barr now has assets in excess of $3 billion, and has contributed more than $1 billion to charitable causes.

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