Exploring Innovative Schools and Policy Supports that Prepare College and Career Ready Students – San Diego, CA

Exploring Innovative Schools and Policy Supports that Prepare College and Career Ready Students – San Diego, CA
Exploring Innovative Schools and Policy Supports that Prepare College and Career Ready Students – San Diego, CA


The goal of this study tour was for participants to learn about schools that incorporate rigorous academics, deeper learning experiences, higher order skills, and innovative and effective practices to create personalized learning experiences and prepare students for college and career success.   Participants heard from, and discussed with, high-level education policy leaders in an effort to develop an understanding of the policy conditions, such as capacity building, professional development, funding, Common Core-aligned curriculum, instruction, and assessments, etc., that will allow support for innovative approaches, such as those featured in the site visits to schools, to expand.  Trish Williams, Vice President of the California State Board of Education, served as the keynote speaker.

The group visited High Tech High and San Diego Met.  Both are schools that are using different models to provide rich academic learning in personalized settings.  Through conversations with students, teachers and administrators participants witnessed first-hand how instruction, assessment and school culture can differ from that in traditional school settings, and how these schools are striving to promote mastery of core academic content; critical thinking and problem solving; working collaboratively; communicating effectively; and students’ ability to learn how to learn.


Recommended Resources

What is Deeper Learning?

An Overview of the Deeper Learning Network

Overview of Deeper Learning in Ten School Networks

Deeper Learning for Every Student Every Day, a white paper featuring profiles on 20 schools that exemplify Deeper Learning

David Conley Deeper Learning Skills to Common Core Standards Crosswalk – This document explores the relationship between the Common Core State Standards and Deeper Learning Skills.

State Policy Information

PACE: The Common Core Meets State Policy: This Changes Almost Everything – As California deals with Common Core implementation issues, this policy brief describes how the Common Core affects various policy areas and how the state can pursue aligned policies that incorporate the Common Core and Deeper Learning skills.

California joins the Partnership for 21st Century Skills – California has just recently joined the Partnership for 21st Century Skills and are pursuing policies that support such skills.

High Tech High School

High Tech High Overview

High Tech High Videos

High Tech High Graduate School

Teaching Differently…Learning Deeply Article

Big Picture Learning and the San Diego Met

Big Picture Learning Overview

Big Picture Learning Podcasts and Videos

San Diego Met

Leaving to Learn Book Website


Linda Darling Hammond Article on teacher planning time



The American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF), a nonprofit, nonpartisan professional development organization based in Washington, DC, provides learning opportunities for policy leaders, practitioners, and researchers working on youth and education issues at the national, state, and local levels. AYPF events and publications are made possible by contributions from philanthropic foundations. For a complete list, click here.