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Chandler Unified introduces Portrait of a Learner

Chandler Unified School District (CUSD) is proud to present details on our Portrait of a Learner (POL) initiative. POL is designed to support whole-child and post-graduation success for all students. On August 24, 2022, Dr. Wendy Nance, Associate Superintendent of Human Resources and Community Services, and Abby Druck, Director of HR - Professional Pathways, presented Portrait of a Learner to the CUSD Governing Board during a study session. 

CUSD administrators organized four meetings with Battelle for Kids, a nonprofit organization that collaborates with school systems to communicate and realize the power and promise of 21st century learning for every student. More than 100 members of the community, including students, parents, staff members, business leaders, and public safety officials, were invited to these meetings in which they provided input toward building Portrait of a Learner.  

“The most fun part was working with the committee and having such a diverse group,” Dr. Wendy Nance said. “We had representatives from state colleges for enrollment, representatives from armed forces, local businesses for employment, and self-starters for entrepreneurship.” 

What is Portrait of a Learner?

After graduation, Chandler Unified hopes that all students can find success in four different pathways: enrollment, employment, enlistment, or entrepreneurship.  

“In CUSD, we believe all students have the ability to succeed in whichever post-graduation path they choose,” said CUSD Superintendent Frank Narducci. “We believe student success is enhanced by the six core attributes included in our Portrait of a Learner and these attributes are strengthened by authentic experiences starting in preschool through graduation.” 

No matter which direction students choose to follow, CUSD hopes they are continuously guided by six core traits in their lives: adaptability, collaboration, communication, critical thinking, empathy, and global citizen. See how Chandler Unified defines each trait. 


  • Flexible  
  • Overcome barriers 
  • Demonstrate resilience 
  • Adjust to challenging conditions or change 

An image of the Portrait of a Learner logo with the six core attributes surrounding CUSD's "C" like an atom.Collaboration 

  • Value others’ input 
  • Own team decision 
  • Work cohesively towards a common goal 
  • Balance individual goals with group goals 
  • Contribute respectfully when sharing ideas 


  • Active listener 
  • Develop responsible digital footprint 
  • Adapts to the needs of the audience  
  • Articulate thoughts through written, oral, and non-verbal skills 

Critical Thinking 

  • Ask questions 
  • Persevere through problems to find a solution 
  • Identify, define, and solve authentic problems 
  • Collect, assess, and analyze relevant information 
  • Reflect on learning experiences, processes, and solutions 


  • Seek to understand 
  • Demonstrate compassion and concern for others 
  • Respect and connect with others’ feelings, opinions, and culture 

Global Citizen 

  • Literate in technology and communication skills 
  • Demonstrate civic responsibility 
  • Apply learning to real world situations  
  • Empower self and others to make a difference in local and world community  
  • Value and respect diverse cultures and perspectives 

“Our hope is that they [students] have a choice and voice when they leave us,” said Abby Druck. 

The Portrait of a Learner initiative is ongoing and supports the district’s strategic plan focus area of prepared students. CUSD has plans to promote and embed Portrait of a Learner throughout every school. Implementation of the initiative will include roadshow presentations at school sites to offer a deeper understanding of Portrait of a Learner throughout campuses and curriculums, worksheets to guide discussion on the six attributes with students at every grade level, and constant connections with stakeholders for feedback. 

Chandler Communications Office