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California Department of Education
News Release
Release: #16-65
September 22, 2016
Contact: Communications
Phone: 916-319-0818

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces
California Districts, Schools Chosen as 2016–17
Exemplars of 21st Century Learning

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today that two California districts, three schools, and one early learning program have been chosen throughout the nation as 2016-2017 21st Century Learning Exemplars. This honor is designed to identify learning environments where students obtain an authentic 21st century learning experience.

Of the four districts recognized, half are from California. In total, 16 organizations were chosen to earn this prestigious designation, which is given out by the national coalition Partnership for 21st Century Learning (P21) External link opens in new window or tab. .

“I am pleased that for the second year running, more than one-third of the schools and districts are from California,” said Torlakson. “This is a tribute to our state’s continued efforts to make great strides in preparing our students for the challenges and opportunities of 21st century careers and college.”

The 2017 California P21 Exemplars are:

School Districts

  • Downey Unified School District, Downey
  • Encinitas Union School District, Encinitas

K12 School Exemplars

  • Valencia High School, Placentia
  • Sanger High School, Sanger
  • Roosevelt Elementary School, Burlingame

Early Learning Exemplar

• The Goddard School, Ladera Ranch

The P21 Exemplar Program identifies schools and districts that serve as national models for what 21st century educational practices look like, providing educators and communities with a variety of examples to replicate. Schools are recognized for a variety of programs, ranging from designing and 3D printing, to dual language learning for transitional kindergarten students, to agriculture focused career pathways.

P21 uses this rubric [Note: The preceeding link is no longer available] to evaluate schools for exemplar status through onsite visits. Key exemplary practices are identified in the Patterns of Innovation report. Under the leadership of Superintendent Torlakson, California became one of 20 P21 Leadership States in 2012, recognizing its commitment to integrating the P21 framework.

The application period for the 2017–18 P21 Exemplar Program will open on October 15, 2016. More information is available on the Battelle for Kids P21 web page External link opens in new window or tab..

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Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

Last Reviewed: Friday, March 27, 2020
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