The Catalina Foothills School District (CFSD) is committed to building knowledge and skills that prepare students for college and career pathways. In addition to mastering essential academic content, CFSD is also focused on building a set of proficiencies that we believe students must learn in order to apply and transfer knowledge to problems or situations in the classroom and beyond the PreK-12 educational setting.
A rigorous review of pertinent research and a new strategic plan entitled, ENVISION21: Deep Learning, forms the basis for a fresh focus on cross-disciplinary skills/proficiencies needed of learners to be successful in a rapidly changing world. Previously named "21st century skills," CFSD reframed these skills as Deep Learning Proficiencies (DLPs).
CFSD Envision21 - Deep Learning Strategic Plan 2014-2020
Deep Learning Proficiencies (DLPs). Displays the performance areas for each proficiency that CFSD is committed to developing so our students are well prepared for college and career pathways, and civic life.
CFSD Rubrics for Deep Learning Proficiencies (DLPs). Catalina Foothills School District created a series of rubrics to assess students in real time. The rubrics are used to measure the performance areas associated with each DLP. The DLPs are Citizenship, Creativity and Innovation, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, Communication, Collaboration, and Systems Thinking.
CFSD Nationally Recognized for Innovative Learning
P21, a leading organization advocating for 21st century learning for every student, designated CFSD as an exemplar school district, as part of a nationwide initiative identifying models of exemplary 21st century learning practices across the United States that are preparing students for success. See CFSD's case study on the P21 website.
What does STEM Learning Look Like in CFSD?
In CFSD we strive for deeper, richer curricular experiences in all areas, including STEM. What are the learning experiences that make us unique? What does effective classroom practice look like? How do we encourage students to take ownership of their learning? As part of our P21 Exemplar designation, take a look at some of our STEM teaching practices. Step inside a classroom with us.
Civil War Documentary. Life in America: A 5th Grader's Civil War, documents the entire journey experienced by the 2014 fifth grade class at Manzanita Elementary School, as they prepared for the 15th annual living history event, The Civil War Simulation. The simulation is an outdoor, presentation dramatizing a series of ten historical events that occurred during the American Civil War. Creative, collaborative, and exciting, the simulation required two months of extensive research, writing historical dialogue, preparing authentic sets, and building props. Each student assumed the role of a real person who lived at that time and experienced the repercussions of war. In these roles, the students were deeply engaged in the details of everyday life in America during the 1860's, but were also deeply engaged in the thinking skills and processes needed for lifelong learning in the 21st century. This documentary is moving on to an upcoming film festival. Click here to watch the documentary.
This whiteboard animation, Witness to War project, is an exemplary example of "deep learning." Completed as a research project in fifth grade Social Studies, the student provides an in-depth account of an individual who played a significant role in the American Civil War. The match between content and medium communicated learning effectively and met the goal of bringing an eyewitness account to life as a way to study the past.
Expert Resource Program. CFSD initiated an Expert Resource Program to connect students to experts in the real world on current issues and topics around the globe. What makes this program unique is the experts are former CFSD students who have expertise that can be tapped and shared with students. Engaging with experts during the learning process is one strategy for developing deep content knowledge and applying it to tasks and situations outside of the school.
Bindschadler: Assessing Critical Thinking in the Middle School Classroom. Brian Bindschadler, Gifted Education Specialist and English teacher at Orange Grove Middle School, was featured in the P21 Blogazine (Blog for the Partnership for 21st Century Skills). In his blog, he responds to the following driving question: What does meaningful assessment of 21st century skills look like?
The New Parent's Guide to 21st Century Learning and Citizenship. P21: The Partnership for 21st Century Learning created a three-part toolkit for parents and families that addresses the role of citizenship in a 21st century education. Click here for "What is 21st Century Learning and Citizenship All About?" and here for Tips and Strategies for Families". These pdfs were created by P21 and the National PTA.
A Parent's Guide to 21st Century Learning, created by Edutopia, highlights the tools and resources that are being used to create 21st century classrooms. Includes online resources and tips for families to help bring 21st century skills home.
Developing Very Young Systems Thinkers. Valley View Early Learning Center (VVELC) in CFSD, was featured in the Water's Foundation Systems Thinking in Schools newsletter for their innovative work in the use of systems thinking tools and visuals with preschool children. Click on the link to read more about their implementation of this 21st century skill.
A progress report from the Arizona Department of Education highlights Catalina Foothills School District on page 6 for best practices utilized to achieve student success.
Defining a 21st Century Education Written by the Center for Public Education, an initiative of the National School Boards Association. Describes how the world is changing in ways that impact skill demands, what kinds of knowledge and skills will be most important, and the implications for school districts.
The Four C's: Making 21st Century Education Happen features educational leaders from Envision Schools (California), Catalina Foothills School District (Arizona) and Virginia Beach City Public Schools (Virginia). Each school profile focuses on a unique aspect of how 21st century skills can help prepare students for college or a career. This film highlights both the student perspective, as well as how educators are using the 4 C's to create a collaborative environment. A presentation of EdLeader21 [edleader21.com] and the Pearson Foundation [pearsonfoundation.org]. Published on April 16, 2012.
Assessing the Four C's: The Power of Rubrics is a companion film to The Four C's: Making 21st Century Education Happen and explores the special efforts three school districts (Envision Schools [California], Catalina Foothills School District [Arizona] and Virginia Beach City Public Schools [Virginia]) made to use rubrics to assess 21st century student outcomes. These rubrics help teachers specifically define each of the 4 C's and make them more transparent to students and parents. A presentation of EdLeader21 [edleader21.com] and the Pearson Foundation [pearsonfoundation.org]. Published on April 17, 2012.
Exemplar 21st Century Skills School Districts Website designed to facilitate learning by interested school districts on the best practices of 21st Century Skills School Districts. Features Catalina Foothills School District. Developed by Bob Pearlman, strategy consultant for 21st century school development.
An 'A' in Abstractions With assessment attracting increased focus in the push for 21st century skills learning, a new issue arises: How do you measure the immeasurable? By Paul Tullis, the Journal (Transforming Education Through Technology), 03/01/10. Article features Catalina Foothills School District.
Teaching 21st Century Skills What does it look like in practice? Article features teachers from Catalina Foothills School District. By Nancy Walser, Harvard Education Letter, September/October 2008.
The 21st-Century Classroom Looking to integrate 21st-century skills into your classroom? Learn how from educators who are doing it now. Article features teachers from the Catalina Foothills School District. Cable in the Classroom Magazine, October 2008.
Videos on 21st Century Learning from P21: Partnership for 21st Century Learning How is the changing focus on 21st century skills and education affecting change in our nation's classrooms? From project-based and expeditionary learning to an increased focus on financial literacy to a more effective use of communications technologies, this collection of videos from across the nation shows how our children's school experiences are being enhanced and expanded, every day, due to an awareness of the need for 21st century education. Features Catalina Foothills School District. Use the search tool on the page to search for "Catalina Foothills School District." or the video titled "Making Learning Relevant: The Hydrology Project".
Partnership for 21st Century Learning P21:The Partnership for 21st Century Learning is a leading advocacy organization focused on infusing 21st century skills into education. The site provides a set of comprehensive tools that can be used to integrate 21st century skills into learning.
P21 21st Century Skills Maps The Partnership for 21st Century Skills developed 21st Century Skills Maps and ICT Literacy Maps to illustrate the intersection between 21st Century Skills and core academic subjects, including geography, math, English, social studies, and science.