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With a history of curricular innovation, the Catalina Foothills School District (CFSD) provides a comprehensive and rigorous academic program that is recognized nationally for preparing students well for postsecondary education. From early childhood through high school graduation, CFSD provides a wide array of challenging programs and learning experiences to help every student succeed in school.

While academics are at the core of a comprehensive education, CFSD also embraces the obligation to graduate self-regulated, lifelong learners who have the ability to think critically and apply knowledge and skills at high levels. To be prepared for their future, our students need a more advanced set of skills - the capacity to see problems in new ways, to design their own solutions, and to collaborate and communicate in diverse settings. The explicit aim is deep learning that goes beyond mastery of existing content knowledge to creating and using new knowledge and transferring it to new contexts. To this end, all students engage in regular and ongoing 21st century skill building. This skill set includes critical thinking and problem solving, citizenship, creativity and innovation, collaboration, communication, and systems thinking. These skills are referred to as “deep learning proficiencies” (DLPs). Our expectation for the ongoing development of these skills is defined in the rubrics for each DLP. There is a continuum of performance for grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Both rigorous academic standards and the DLPs are a bridge to authentic, intellectually challenging work by students.

We are committed to fully engaging our students in their learning and evaluating program results to ensure our students move on from their PreK-12 education confident that they are well prepared to prosper in postsecondary education, careers, and in life.

Young students gathered around globe

Middle School art students

High school students and teacher


Envision 21. Deep Learning CFSD

P21, The Partnership for 21st Century Learning, designated Catalina Foothills School District (CFSD) as an exemplar district. CFSD received this recognition for exemplary 21st century learning practices and programs that prepare students for sucess in college and other postsecondary pathways. CFSD is the first district in Arizona to earn the exemplar designation from P21.

CFSD has been implementing a long-term systemic plan to bring the concept of 21st century teaching and learning to scale. Collectively, educators, students, parents, and the larger community contribute to the daily successes and opportunities that empower our students to think, create, lead, and make change. Learn more about CFSD's journey - from the establishment of the vision for 21st century education to the current day's work focus.


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