Innovative 21st Century School Districts

Updated: November, 2016

Ignite presentation from the Minnetonka Public Schools (MN) at the EdLeader21 2015 Annual Event in Dallas, TX. See 2016 Ignite presentations at the EdLeader21 2016Annual Event, September 28-30, in Denver, CO: Rio School District (CA); Wake County Public Schools (NC); Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VA); Newberg Public Schools (OR); and Eagle County Public Schools (CO)

February, 2016: Letters to Ollie's New Superintendent on 21st Century District Transformation, by Ken Kay, AASA blog: Defining a Vision for your District (Part 1); Focusing on Pedagogy (Part 2); Focus on Culture (part 3); Blog Series Home.
December 7, 2015: Partnership for 21st Century Learning (P21) names 16 schools and 3 districts as 2016 exemplars. Districts include Catalina Foothills School District, AZ. Also see P21's full list of exemplar schools and districts and case studies.
December 3, 2015: The Minnetonka Framework for Deeper Learning IGNITE presentation at EdLeader21 Conference, Dallas, September 30, 2015 - Also see graphic recording by Rachel Brian.
October 1, 2015: Jeffco Public Schools' (Golden, CO) new Jeffco 2020 Strategic Plan
September 23, 2015: See the new 21C Bloomfield Hills (MI) High School: Pics at Twitter.
May 19, 2015: New 21st Century Strategic Plan and Framework from Boone County, KY
September, 2014: Featured 21st Century Learning District, Albemarle County Public Schools, VA
September, 2014: District Transformation Learning Walks & Study Tours

    1. Catalina Foothills School District, AZ

    2. Albemarle County Public Schools, VA

    3. Virginia Beach City Public Schools, VA

    4. Napa Valley Unified School District, CA

    5. Douglas County School District, CO

    6. Chesterfield County Public Schools, VA

    7. East Syracuse-Minoa (NY) Central School District

    8. Tahoma School District No. 409, WA

    9. Other 21st Century Skills School Districts (Profiles Coming)

Tools and Resources on 21st Century School Districts


21C Organizations





Other 21st Century School Districts (Profiles Coming)*

    1. San Jose Unified School District, CA; SJUSD Profile at EdLeader21; Strategic Plan - Opportunity 21; Executive Summary; 21C Framework; Interview with Superintendent Vince Mathews on School Redesign, EdLeader21 public site.
    2. Upper Arlington (OH) School District
    3. Springfield Public Schools, MO; SPS Learning Model
    4. Hilliard City Schools, OH; 2020 Strategic Plan ;
    5. OCM BOCES, Syracuse, NY; Project-Based Learning
    6. Ballston Spa Central School District, NY; Clean Technologies Early College HS
    7. Fairfax County Public Schools; Portrait of a Graduate; Ignite, Strategic Plan for FCPS, 2015-2020
    8. Lucia Mar Unified School District, CA
    9. Ponca City Public Schools, OK
    10. Minnetonka Public Schools, MN. See Vantage, Advanced Professional Studies Program for juniors and seniors; Strategic Plan; Instructional Framework; The Minnetonka Framework for Deeper Learning IGNITE presentation at EdLeader21 Conference, Dallas, September 30, 2015 - Also see graphic recording by Rachel Brian.
    11. Green Lake School District, Green Lake, WI; P21 Exemplar School District
    12. Newport News Public Schools, VA (Archival Page)
    13. Cleveland Heights - University Heights City School District, Ohio (Archival Page)
    14. Rio School District; 21st Century Learning
    15. Aptakisic-Tripp School District 102, IL; Learning Vision into Action (LVIA) 2015-2016
    16. Farmington Public Schools, CT ; “School-Based Instructional Rounds” book highlights FPS; Superintendent's Message; P21 Exemplar School District
    17. Dysart Unified School District, AZ; Dysart Future Ready; Profile of a Career & College Ready Graduate; 21st Century Collaborative Network ; 21st Century Specialists: Innovative educators ; The 21st Century Collaborative Network in Dysart Unified School District, Blog by Superintendent Dr. Gail Pletnick, EdLeader21 public site; Integrating the 4 Cs, Blog by Superintendent Dr. Gail Pletnick, EdLeader21 public site.
    18. Piner-Olivet Unified School District, CA; Maker Education Network K-12 (Sonoma County) ;
    19. San Carlos School District K-8, CA; Strategic Plan; Project-Based Learning (PBL); The 5Cs; Technology Infused Learning
    20. Boone County Schools, KY; 21st Century Strategic Plan and Framework; Boone County Schools “Celebration of Innovation in Education” luncheon, October 22, 2015.
    21. Bloomfield Hills Schools, MI; Ten Guiding Principles; Strategic Plan 2012-2018; The New Bloomfield Hills High School (see Pics at Twitter)*
    22. Jeffco Public Schools, Golden, CO; Jeffco Vision 2020; Video of Jeffco Vision 2020; Vision 2020 Strategic Plan; Vision Development; Portrait of a Graduate
    23. School District of Brown Deer, WI; Transformation Resources
    24. Loudon County Public Schools, VA; Vision 20/20 Strategic Plan and Videos

* Disclosure: I am a Senior Education Consultant with Fielding Nair International, the architecture firm that designed the school.

* Note: This page is part of a larger project to profile exemplar and innovative 21st Century Schools and Districts in the U.S. and abroad. This list will be expanded to include other innovative 21st Century school districts. Criteria for inclusion in this list are:

  • District is innovative in its practices and communication around 21st Century Learning.
  • There are sufficient web-based resources -- articles, videos, research, and other documents -- to adequately profile the district.

Districts should contact Bob at to be included in these innovative 21C school district profiles.

--Bob Pearlman, September, 2011 (Updated September, 2015)