25 Schools and Districts Named Exemplars of 21st Century Learning

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P21 and Pearson Foundation Patterns of Innovation initiative identifies key features of 25 successful schools.

Patterns of Innovation: Showcasing the Nation's Best in 21st Century Learning
"There is no one way to create 21st century learning environments...We are thrilled to share what’s working in education through the stories of these tremendous schools." - Dr. Helen Soule, P21 Executive Director

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21), the leading organization advocating for 21st century readiness for every student, has named 25 schools and districts from across the United States as exemplars of 21st century learning.

Patterns of Innovation: The 21st Century Learning Exemplar Program, developed with the Pearson Foundation and other P21 members, shares and celebrates the experiences of schools and districts that have successfully transformed their students’ learning by incorporating elements of the P21 Framework into teacher practice, curriculum, assessment, and professional development.

Through a rigorous evaluation process, P21 has sought to identify characteristics and practices that have contributed to the success of these 21st century learning communities. P21 has developed multimedia case studies, including high quality videos and a podcast series, to capture and share how each exemplar school makes a 21st century learning experience possible for all students. Common practices of exemplar schools, identified in the Patterns of Innovation report released in November, include distributed leadership, student agency, application of research and evidence, an engaged community, and a pervasive climate of achievement.

The 25 exemplars represent a wide range of learning environments, instructional frameworks and school cultures, reflecting the diverse settings in which the P21 Framework can contribute to student success. They are:

  •     A.L. Stanback Middle School, Hillsborough, North Carolina
  •     Bate Middle School, Danville, Kentucky
  •     Benjamin Franklin Elementary, Glen Ellyn School District 41, Illinois
  •     Carl Wunsche High School, Spring Independent School District, Texas
  •     Carolina Forest International Elementary School, Onslow County, North Carolina
  •     Dana Elementary School, Hendersonville, North Carolina
  •     Des Moines North High School, Des Moines, Iowa
  •     Dayton Early College Academy, Dayton, Ohio
  •     Farmington Public Schools, Farmington, Connecticut
  •     Fond du Lac School District, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
  •     Genesee Community Charter School, Rochester, New York
  •     Green Lake School District, Green Lake, Wisconsin
  •     Goddard Schools, York County, South Carolina
  •     Highlands High School, Fort Thomas, Kentucky
  •     Inspired Teaching Demonstration School, Washington, DC
  •     Kenton County School District, Kentucky
  •     Lancaster High School Academy of Finance, Lancaster, New York
  •     Meadow View Elementary School, Jacksonville, North Carolina
  •     Muscatine Community School District, Muscatine, Iowa
  •     Savannah High School, Anaheim, California
  •     Spirit Lake High School, Spirit Lake, Iowa
  •     Springfield Renaissance School, Springfield Public Schools, Massachusetts
  •     Van Meter Community School District, Des Moines, Iowa
  •     Walker Elementary School, West-Allis/West-Milwaukee School District, Wisconsin
  •     Wheeling High School, Wheeling, Illinois

“We are thrilled to share what’s working in education through the stories of these tremendous schools,” said Dr. Helen Soulé, P21 Executive Director and program director. “These exemplars show how dedicated, accomplished educators and community leaders are creating 21st century learning environments to prepare their students for college, career and life success. We hope that interested teachers and school leaders will find ideas and inspiration for helping students build 21st century skills through P21’s 21st Century Learning Exemplar Program.”

More information about each of the exemplars—including video case studies, a podcast series and curricular and planning materials—is available on the P21 website.

P21 will be selecting additional exemplar schools and districts in 2014. Learn more at http://www.P21.org/Exemplars and #PatternsofInnovation.


About P21: P21 is a national organization that advocates for 21st century readiness for every student. As the United States continues to compete in a global economy that demands innovation, P21 and its members provide tools and resources to help the U.S. education system keep up by fusing the 3Rs and 4Cs (critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration, and creativity and innovation). While leading districts and schools are already doing this, P21 advocates for local, state and federal policies that support this approach for every school. http://www.p21.org

Pearson Foundation: The Pearson Foundation is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that aims to make a difference by promoting literacy, learning, and great teaching. The Foundation collaborates with leading businesses, nonprofits, and education experts to share good practice; foster innovation; and find workable solutions to the educational disadvantages facing young people and adults across the globe. More information on the Pearson Foundation can be found at http://www.pearsonfoundation.org.

P21 Members: Apple Inc., Bahcesehir K-12 Schools, Cable in the Classroom, The College Board, Common Sense Media, Crayola, Destination Imagination, EdLeader21, EF Education, Education Networks of America, Ford Motor Company Fund, Gale Cengage Learning, Goddard Systems Inc., Intel Corporation, JP - Inspiring Knowledge, Learning.com, LEGO Education, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, National Education Association, PBS, Pearson Foundation, People to People Ambassador Programs, Project Management Institute Educational Foundation, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, VIF International Education, and The Walt Disney Company.

P21 Leadership States: Arizona, California, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

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