Envision 21 - Deep Learning - CFSD

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The Catalina Foothills School District (CFSD) provides comprehensive and rigorous academic programs that are recognized nationally for preparing students well for postsecondary education. From early childhood through high school graduation, CFSD's wide array of programs and learning experiences equip every student with the necessary knowledge and skills to meet the challenges and opportunities in a global society.

While academics are at the core of a comprehensive education, CFSD also embraces the obligation to graduate self-regulated, well-rounded learners who have the skill-set for lifelong learning. This advanced set of skills - the capacity to see problems in new ways, think critically, design innovative solutions, and collaborate and communicate in diverse settings – enables our students to engage in deeper learning. That is, to go beyond the mastery of content knowledge to applying what is learned and transferring it to new situations or contexts. All CFSD students engage in 21st century skill building, which includes Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, Citizenship, Creativity and Innovation, Collaboration, Communication, and Systems Thinking. CFSD refers to these skills as “deep learning proficiencies” (DLPs). Our expectation for the ongoing development of these skills is defined in the rubrics that have been created for each DLP. There is a continuum of performance for grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12.

CFSD is committed to fully engaging students in their learning and evaluating program results to ensure they move on from their PreK-12 education confident that they are well prepared to flourish in future studies, careers, and in life.

Orchestra teacher and student

5 Middle School Band Students

High school teacher and students


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 was the first district in Arizona to earn the exemplar designation from P21. Click here to learn more about CFSD as a P21 exemplar district.

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.

Enjoy the spotlight video features of our students and teachers at the first link below.


Profile of a CFSD Graduate

The "Profile of a CFSD Graduate" is a collective vision that articulates the district's aspirations for all students. It reflects the qualities that make our graduates unique and prepared for success in a competitive world.

How does CFSD make this work visible? By focusing, daily, on teaching / learning for transfer and the development of six "deep learning proficiencies" (DLPs), in addition to the academic knowledge and skills expected of all CFSD students. Every PreK-12 student is provided with multiple opportunities to demonstrate growth toward appropriately challenging learning goals, and to transfer their learning by addressing novel or non-routine tasks and problems. We are excited to show you what this educational experience looks like in action.


CFSD's six "deep learning proficiencies" are Citizenship, Communication, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, Collaboration, Creativity and Innovation, and Systems Thinking. The district developed a set of rubrics (K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12) for each "proficiency" with specific performance areas and indicators that are used for teaching and measuring the development of these skills. The rubrics provide a common vocabulary and a continuum of performance across grades K-12.


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