SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Springfield Public Schools (SPS) is to receive $650,000 to provide students with successful futures. The “Portrait of a Graduate” (POG) started three years ago to transform the school.

The Barr Foundation’s Portrait of a Graduate cohort was launched in 2019 following a request for proposals. Interested communities were identified to build a community-driven Portrait of a Graduate. This means that current students will be able to gain the knowledge needed to thrive after high school such as in college, career, and community.

As of 2021, there was 10 POG communities, including SPS. These communities were given additional grant support to bring their portraits to practice. A next phase is being entered for the district to advance equitable student opportunities and outcomes in schools. This is to be done through adding responsive school models with 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.”

Some of SPS’s key priorities will be to have purposeful learning experiences, high expectations for all students, authentic opportunities for student voice and choice, and international 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.”