Communicator.21- January 2018

Greetings in the new year! We have a number of exciting things lined up at P21 in the coming months.

The 2018-2019 21st Century Learning Exemplar Program application is still open - make sure you submit your application by the January 31 deadline! If you are a school, early learning center, or school district that has committed to preparing learners for the 21st century, we encourage you to apply. Additional details and application materials can be found at

If you haven't had the opportunity, register for our Patterns of Innovation conference this March 27-28 in Napa, CA.  We are especially excited to offer two engaging workshop series within the conference: Design Thinking via the Henry Ford Learning Institute and Entrepreneurship via the Dalton Academy in Beijing. Register early if you want to secure your spot in these limited-seating events.

P21 will also be hosting the second annual Skills for Today week this April 23-27. We'll be posting more information over the coming months about our lineup.  Be sure to follow us on  Twitter Facebook  and LinkedIn  for the latest news and updates.

And finally, I would like to introduce our newest P21 staff member. Krystal Johnson joins us in the role of Administrative Assistant, and she will serve as a frontline touch point for our P21 community. Krystal has held internships on Capitol Hill and at the National Education Association, and she joins us from her previous role as Lifestyle Director for a residential community where she provided high-level customer support.

Thank you,

Dave Ross
Chief Executive Officer, P21
From P21:
#P21Exemplar webinar 

In this month's webinar, leaders from the 21st Century Learning Exemplar Program will discuss the topic of Distributed Leadership on Tuesday, January 23, at 4:00 pm Eastern Time . This is the third of a five part series exploring the Patterns of Innovation.  Register here.

Panelists will include: 
  • Aaron Brengard, Katherine Smith School 
  • Jennifer Collet, Blue Valley Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS)
  • Riley Johnson, New Tech High School
  • Kyle Jones, Lanier High School
In case you missed it...

P21 and Pearson recently released the third white paper in the Skills for Today series, this time focusing on communication. The paper identifies
a set of skills that support successful communication
in its many forms, discuss strategies for teaching those skills, and describe methods for their assessment.
Read Skills For Today: What We Know about Teaching and Assessing Communication
Are Your High School Students Ready for Their Future Educational and Career Paths?

The world of education and work continues to shift, just as student perceptions about these areas do. That is why P21 , America's Promise Alliance, SkillsUSA, and Educational Research Center of America (ERCA) are collaborating on a survey research project focused on high school students' perceptions of Career Paths and 21st Century Skills.
The Student Research Foundation works closely with the Research Consortium on Career Pathways and 21st Century Skills to analyze and present these data.

If you would like to participate in this survey, please fill out this this online form or email

From P21 Exemplars:
Student Agency

Two groups of Meadowbrook students were selected to present at the MassCUE conference at Gillette Stadium in November. MassCUE is a resource and network of educators that provides ongoing, professional learning opportunities for educators. The first student group from Meadowbrook represented the school as CUEKids. The group presented projects they had been working on that fit digital age learning and teaching. They introduced their work to everyone who stopped at their table and showed attendees how to use digital tools, creating lessons for educators to take back to their classrooms.

The second group of students represented Meadowbrook as GlobalEd CUEKids, a new designation at the conference this year. Two eighth graders from Meadowbrook presented "Why Go to South Africa?" The student group shared pictures, videos, and reflections of the 16-day trip to South Africa which began with a week-long visit with their pen pals at Kliptown Youth Program. Kliptown Youth Program is an organization that helps local South Africans lift themselves out of poverty. This is the third year in a row that Meadowbrook students were selected to showcase their work at the conference.

Climate of Achievement

New year brings a new pre-k opportunity

The New Year brought a new opportunity for the youngest students in the Windsor School District. The first school day of 2018 was also the debut of full-day pre-kindergarten for 36 students who previously attended half-day programs. A grant from the NYS Education Department made the expansion possible. Now, Windsor houses five full day pre-k classrooms. The change means families of students who were attending the half-day programs will now save on the cost of day care. For the students, the benefits will be felt this year and beyond. "There are some awesome benefits for the kids," said teacher Jennifer Bennett. "They have an extended day of learning and exploring. Plus, we can give them an uninterrupted period of free-choice play." 

The students were happy with some other changes. "I liked eating lunch in the cafeteria," said Kealy. "Me, too," said Aubrey. While the students may have enjoyed eating in the cafeteria, the meal highlighted another benefit of the extended schedule-- time for breakfast, lunch and a snack. "Guaranteed nourishment for our kids with two meals and a snack is huge," said Bennett. Here's to a happy and healthy 2018 full of lots of learning in pre-kindergarten!

Community Partnerships
K. Smith School gift giving event serves 165 local families

Each year the Katherine Smith School staff helps about 25 families with a staff Giving Tree. First, K. Smith staff identifies what each person in the family would like for Christmas. Then staff then shops and wraps those gifts bringing a little joy to those who need some extra support. In partnership with a local company and a San Jose city council member, the Giving Tree was expanded to a total of 165 families. 

Teachers, police officers, fire fighters, and other volunteers gifted a personal present of toys, shoes, or clothes for each person in household, proving that incredible things can happen when a community comes together.

Climate of Achievement
CAPS and Diagnostic Imaging Centers: A powerful partnership

CAPS collaborated with Diagnostic Imaging Centers to develop an app. Students started by identifying the features, benefits, and desired user experience, then launched into ideation and product development. By day three, students shared a prototype and made their pitch to the DIC team. The student team had made significant progress during the design sprint and Ed Moore, CEO of Diagnostic Imaging, invited students to work with their web development company to build out the app. 

DIC has become a go-to partner for authentic student experiences. "As a client services professional I was very impressed with the CAPS team's level of dedication," said Project Manager Dan Hapke. "From initiating the project through the consistent participation on weekly project status meetings, students were instrumental in delivering the DIC Imaging mobile app."

Student Agency
Health science pathway students gain clinical experiences

The Summit Technology Academy Health Science Pathway has a goal to engage with community partners to provide applied learning experiences. There are three programs in the health science pathway: nursing, biomedical science, and allied health. Professional nursing students are busy preparing for upcoming health fairs that will provide health education to over 1,500 middle school students. These students perform vision checks, vitals, and hearing exams. Biomedical Science students participate in five-minute mentoring experiences where health care professionals showcase what they do and why they enjoy their career.

The most recent event was held on-site at St. Joseph Medical Center in Kansas City. Allied Health students visited University of Missouri - Kansas City's School of Dentistry to experience dental hygiene and dental education. Clinical experiences are a key component of community engagement at the Academy. Students give the teachers feedback on the observations, applications, and knowledge gained from going off-site into the community. 

The health science teachers foster a great working relationship with the clinical supervisors and business partners to ensure students are vetted before being placed in the various settings. Students are vetted for professionalism and communication skills before placement is made. The community partners value this process as it ensures for a successful experience for all.

Distributed Leadership
Distributed leadership at Valencia High School

Distributed leadership is a cultural value that runs deep at Valencia High School (Placentia, CA). Of course, the school has the usual array of typical leadership positions such as administration, department chairs, coaches and association representatives, but VHS also boasts more than twenty staff leaders who facilitate a robust assortment of specialized programs aimed at engaging all students.

VHS has also expanded student leadership through three sections of ASB, Link Crew and more. In fact, VHS' School Site Council, a group of parents, staff, and student leaders, recently selected a student as president. All programs are linked with the common mission of maximizing learning for every student in a nurturing environment with high expectations for all.

From the P21 Community:
Language of sharing - Qatar Foundation International 

Georgetown student Melissa, who is completing a double major in Linguistics and Arabic, travelled to Marrakech, Morocco to participate in an intensive Arabic language learning course through the Qasid Institute. Discovering the streets and markets of Marrakech, Melissa grew into the culture around her. Her study only spurred her deeper and deeper into Marrakech, using Arabic as the fuel to her exploration.  

Melissa continues to participate in intensive Arabic studies at Georgetown with the hope of becoming fluent. Her experiences both in Marrakesh and at Georgetown have further strengthened her desire to help build bridges in understanding between Western culture and that of the Middle East. 

Summer enrichment program improves student achievement and college readiness

Federal data indicates that Minnesota ranked near the bottom in four-year graduation rates for low-income students. TRiO Programs are federal outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals who are low-income and/or first generation with the potential to succeed in college. Brooklyn Park, MN-based Hennepin Technical College's director of TRiO, Educational Talent Search, Lisa Roney designed a 6-week TRiO Summer Enrichment Program to help high school students build core academic skills to better prepare them for their next academic year curriculum, for the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) standard tests, and for college.

Based on documentation of four years of program data from 2013 through the 2016 school year, Roney and her staff of teachers and advisers - with the help of the College Board's proven ACCUPLACER assessment program and Pearson's online homework, tutorial, and self-assessment technology - have helped students to make skills gains in reading, writing, and math as measured by ACCUPLACER diagnostic pre- and post-tests. To date, 93 percent of eligible Summer Enrichment Program participants are currently enrolled in college. Four students were named finalists for Act Six ( and two students won full-tuition, full-need 4-year scholarships from Act Six.

Find more about Pearson's contributions to summer enrichment programs
Celebrating new National Board certified teachers

The National Board recently revealed that there are 4,970 new Board-certified teachers. These teachers join a growing community of Board-certified teachers, now more than 118,000 strong across all 50 states. This year's new Board-certified teachers are the first to certify under the redesigned assessment, developed to be more flexible and accessible for teachers. 

How one school is taking action to achieve clean water for all

Forest Hills Global Elementary's vision is "Explore the world. Be the change." Christina Daniels, the global studies coordinator at the public school in Wilmington, N.C., said the school has integrated global concepts into instruction for the last eight to ten years.
"Now, we are trying to take it to the next step and be a solution to problems we see in the world," Daniels said. 

She and her principal, Boni Hall, started learning about the  UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through  Participate courses and realized they could integrate academic concepts with solving real-world, global challenges.

"We are using the SDGs and global aspects to hook students into learning, making them feel important and part of something bigger, experiences they are not necessarily getting at home," Daniels said.

Helping students become college and career-ready

Preparing students for their future careers is an objective Education Networks of America (ENA) is very invested in. ENA also works with other organizations such as the Nashville Technology Council (NTC) to promote career-readiness. 

In October, ENA had the honor of hosting 30 local high school students at our Nashville headquarters as part of the NTC's Traveling Tech Days program. These students received a tour of our facility, spoke with team leaders from several departments, and had the opportunity to participate in a hands-on coding activity.

Online communication will open new doors for community in 2018

Amy McCooe, CEO of Level Up Village, recently contributed an OpEd to EdSurge in which she argued that online communication provides a powerful means for students to connect across geographies and cultures: "Given the fact that global interaction is already commonplace in the workplace, 2018 is the year it should also become available in every classroom to prepare students for success in the global economy. Global citizenship and one's ability to move past differences of opinion and perspective towards a successful collaborative result permeates so many aspects of life today and is integral to a well functioning, fruitful and peaceful society."


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