P21, The Partnership for 21st Century Learning, has designated Edina High School (EHS) as an exemplar school for 2016-2017. EHS received this honor for exemplary 21st century learning practices in preparing students for success in college, career, and life. It is the first high school in Minnesota to earn the designation.
P21’s 21st Century Learning Exemplar Program
searches for and shares the stories of schools and districts that have successfully transformed student learning through innovative practices such as distributed leadership and community partnerships.
“One thing I know for sure is that we are in the business of preparing students for a future that is far different from the one we faced at their age,” said EHS Principal Bruce Locklear. “Our students are entering a competitive, dynamic world. We can't expect the old ways of preparation and schooling to fully ready our children for this new reality. Rather, we must take with us the very best from past practices and incorporate new strategies to create a hybrid of how we deliver instruction and how students learn. This is what we have been working on at Edina High School and throughout our school district — preparing students for their future, not our past.”
Locklear cited several initiatives and strategic implementations that have occurred at EHS over the last couple years - including May Term for All, student leadership activities, professional learning communities, and partnerships with higher education. As he looks to the future, he notes that the transition to a grade 9-12 high school in fall 2017 will incorporate new schedules, new course options and new learning spaces.
“A cooperative effort of staff, teachers, students, parents and community members built a design for the next Edina High School, which includes tearing down some walls — both figuratively and physically —and creating a variety of learning spaces where students can work independently, or collaboratively in small or large groups,” he said.
“All learners deserve to grow in a 21st Century Learning environment,” stated Dr. Helen Soulé, P21 Executive Director. “It is P21’s vision for the innovative practices in education exhibited by all P21 Exemplars to be replicated across the country and world.”
Edina Public Schools Superintendent Ric Dressen noted the districts appreciation of P21’s designation of EHS as an exemplar school. “We appreciate the national recognition from P21 of our Next Generation Edina Public Schools,” said Edina Public Schools Superintendent Ric Dressen. “We know that making the shift in how we provide learning opportunities for students is continuously evolving and we appreciate the partnership of other schools and organizations like P21 as we advance our strategic plan and our improvement efforts.”
P21 will be visiting Edina High School on Oct. 4, 2016 to formally present the award.
In the Spring of 2017, a case study on EHS and other 2016-2017 P21 Exemplars will be released and available at www.p21.org/exemplars.