The Communicator on 21st Century Learning | Summer 2020

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The Vision is Not Canceled

As we experience the first days of summer, it seems almost inconceivable that the past several months were consumed with school closures, remote learning, and virtual graduation ceremonies, along with many other significant school events that were canceled, postponed, or reimagined. In addition, we’ve seen an historic outcry across the nation and the world in response to persistent and systemic racism and inequities. Our world has changed so dramatically—and will never be the same. But your school system's vision has not been canceled. We all still need to work toward our common goal of realizing the power and promise of 21st century learning for every student.

Recovery and Renewal: 

Preparing your School System for the Future of Education 

The COVID-19 crisis and the pursuit of social justice are impacting all relationships, institutions, and systems fundamental to our society, not the least of which are our school systems.  

This moment in time demands that communities and their education systems respond to not only what is urgent now, but also the redesign of the education system—a renewed system that is resilient and stands ready to meet the unique needs of today’s 21st century learners. While we don’t have all the answers to how school systems should approach re-entry, we do believe a systems approach is necessary to ensure every component part of the system is aligned to ensure equitable student outcomes and enduring transformation. To assist school systems in shaping a renewed, 21st century system, we’ve developed questions to guide discussion and action planning.


Check out our

& Action Guide


For Every Student

At Battelle for Kids, we believe that every individual must demand and relentlessly pursue a just and caring society, where dignity, respect, and love prevail for all humankind. We call upon ourselves and all education leaders to seize this moment in time, to declare our resolve to eradicate persistent inequities within our education systems and society at large, and to act now! 

Education is the critical foundation for cultivating, promoting, and accelerating equity and inclusivity for society.  We have a responsibility to advance deeper, 21st century learning for every student, everywhere, resulting in high quality, equitable experiences and outcomes. Therefore, Battelle for Kids intentionally prioritizes diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of our work with school systems and partners.  

​Two more ways to explore the important role 21st century learning plays in the pursuit of diversity, equity, and inclusion: 

The Intersection of Equity and 21st Century Learning (blog)

Diversity & Equity in 21st Century Learning (podcast)


Redefining and Inspiring Creativity 

Listen in as our CEO, Dr. Karen Garza, talks with Cindy Foley, Executive Deputy Director for Learning and Experience at Columbus Museum of Art. They cover creativity, collaboration, empathy, problem solving, and other 21st century skills that overlap the world of education and art, as well as the roles institutions such as museums and schools play in their greater communities. 

More Ways to Help School Systems Realize the Power and Promise of 21st Century Learning

With over 200 member districts from 45 states, EdLeader21 is the only national network providing innovative school system leaders with collaborative professional learning and education resources to accelerate and support equitable implementation of 21st century learning. Our network members are leading the way in advancing education transformation across the nation.

During this time of distance learning, we have hosted numerous virtual networking opportunities, including: 
  • Convenings of superintendents, curriculum directors, and other education leaders (including this week’s Superintendent Roundtable on blended/remote learning) 
  • A four-part Dare to Lead™ workshop  
  • Portrait to Practice webinars  
  • National cohort of Assessment21  
A purposeful online learning experience designed to support teachers in understanding 21st century competencies, designing assessments for deeper learning, using rubrics to score complex student work, and utilizing student-led, engaged assessment practices.  
Our experienced facilitators will help you identify the knowledge, skills, and mindsets your educators need to design and implement 21st century experiences, as well as transform your human capital strategies regarding professional learning, educator support, hiring, and recruitment. 
This suite of online modules and consulting services helps education leaders design, implement, and scale 21st century human capital systems (HC21) to attract, retain, and grow an empowered workforce to implement deeper learning for every student. 
Created in collaboration with Gallup, this survey elevates student voice by capturing their feedback on hope, engagement, and belonging. With real-time reporting, educators receive essential, reliable, and timely student feedback to inform practice. 

Upcoming Events 

Based on the current and expected realities, we have converted our two largest events into fully virtual experiences. 

September 28–30, 2020

This member-only event has been completely reimagined to enable new ways to share ideas, learn from one another, and plan for the future. This immersive event will feature national thought leaders, presentations by innovative school system leaders, and multiple collaboration opportunities.  

November 12–13, 2020

Established as the nation’s largest gathering to advance the education experiences of rural educators and students, this year’s forum will be a two-day innovative experience during which a diverse community of national rural experts, educators, researchers, and policy makers will collaborate, share, and learn together.

A Salute to the Class of 2020 

This year’s graduates—as well as their teachers, parents, and school system administrators—repeatedly impressed us by demonstrating the skills and mindsets so frequently captured in Portraits of a Graduate: adaptability, creativity, empathy, perseverance, critical thinking, and communication. 

To all of you, we say: CONGRATULATIONS! 


Let Us Know How We Can Help 

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