Portrait of a Learner

The D127 Portrait of a Learner organizes our schools and community around the essential skills, knowledge, and habits of mind that

  • Represent the community’s vision for learning,

  • Prepare students for the world beyond school,

  • Articulate what we expect from our staff as educators and adult learners, and

  • Represent our district values.

Below you will see definitions and examples of what we would expect to see, hear, and feel in our schools as we live these values.

D127 Portrait of a Learner


We see...

We hear...

We feel...


Students and staff learning, exploring, and seeking knowledge about the unknown

Active searching for new information and perspectives

Engaging in actions to move forward

Questioning to gain a deeper understanding

An openness to different viewpoints and possibilities

A trusting environment


Students and staff working together to achieve an outcome or solve a problem

Active participation and engagement

Norms structured to create safe collaborative spaces

Assumption of positive intent

Transparent communication

Give and take

Respectful disagreement

People are safe to be their authentic selves

Mutual respect

An expectation of diverse viewpoints and thinking

Support of the outcome


Students and staff are committed to friends, colleagues, themselves, and their learning to build a better community

Positive mental attitudes

Smiling and laughing

Presence at events, clubs, and communities

Building trust

Expressions of Positivity

Cared about




Students and staff persevere through challenges with an open mind, guided by our principles

Solving problems

Leaning into resources

Asking for help

Proposing solutions

Recentering conversations to "What's best for students"

Making forward progress

Being committed, healthy, and caring about the outcome


Students and staff uphold the highest standards in our school community

Respectful behavior

Dignity toward students and staff

Desire to learn

Honesty in private and in public

Healthy and respectful discussions

Openness to differing opinions

Alignment with the beliefs of others



Safety to advocate for others


Students and staff see, appreciate, and understand another's state of mind or emotions, and value the differences and diversity in others

Humanity in interactions

Leaning on each other and learning from each other

Expressions of mutual respect

Active listening

Demonstrations of Appreciation

Openness to new ideas

A desire to help


Students and staff welcome challenges and change as opportunities for growth and improvement instead of barriers

Problems to be solved

Opportunities for personal and professional growth

Open discussion and differing opinions

Feedback being offered and received

Safety in offering solutions

Confident in taking risks

Comfortable with discomfort and uncertainty