Board of Education approves ‘4Cs’ as new ‘Ends’
CASTLE ROCK – Everyday Douglas County students are expected to critically think, collaborate, communicate and be creative. Now, those four skills will be officially integrated into every subject and grade level in the Douglas County School District. On Tuesday October 1, the Douglas County Board of Education voted 6-0, to make the 4Cs their Board End Statements.
“These are the core skills that students need to be successful in the 21st Century,” Superintendent Dr. Liz Fagen said during her presentation at Tuesday’s Board meeting. “It makes sense for us to have integrated into all subjects at all grade levels.”
The 4Cs, which include Critical Thinking, Collaboration, Communication and Creativity, were established by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, as the four most important attributes students will need to compete and succeed in the global economy. Those four skills were highlighted from a longer list of 21st Century Skills, after the organization's lengthy discussions with business leaders and education experts.
21st Century Skills
1. Global Awareness
3. Financial Literacy
7. Problem Solving
8. Critical Thinking
11. Civic Responsibility
12. System Thinking
“We simply asked the question, ‘what skills do young people need to be successful in the new global economy,’" explained EdLeader21 CEO Ken Kay during the Board of Education Retreat last weekend. He was a founder and president of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, during the development of the 21st Century Skills and 4Cs.
“It was a starting point for a dialog that communities now all over the country that are really serious about this issue of ‘how do we prepare our kids for their futures?’” Kay explained.
The 4Cs are supported by a large group of educational experts, several of which have visited the District since the inception of DCSD’s Strategic Plan, including Ken Kay, Tony Wagner, and Yong Zhao.
In fact, Wagner spoke to the Board about the importance of these skills during their Board Retreat in December 2012. Kay helped to answer Board member questions at the most recent Board Retreat last weekend.
READ MORE: New Board of Education End Statement
Fagen says the essence of the old Board End Statements will continue forward, because they are either covered by the 4Cs or are still incorporated in the District’s Graduation Requirements, which have not changed.
She also says that the new End Statements will allow District leadership to be more efficient in assessing the progress of our students. The End Statements determine what specifically is accessed and the District has already established rubrics that will be used.
In addition to the 4Cs, the Board is also adopting the remainder of the 21st Century Skills as Supplementary End Statements. That will ensure those skills are demonstrated in specific, appropriate content areas.
“An example would be Health and Wellness. It is naturally integrated into physical education classes throughout our district,” Fagen said.