The mission of ICEF Public Schools is to prepare students to attend and compete at the top 100 colleges and universities in the nation. Our culture of "Excellence for All" focuses our entire ICEF community on maximizing student potential.
It is commonly accepted and recognized in the new California Common Core State Standards, that an educated person of the 21st century must be highly proficient in problem-solving, critical inquiry, analytical thinking, writing, interpersonal relations and the use of technology. Many researchers and writers have addressed the notion that many of the vocationally oriented skills and practical knowledge learned today will be obsolete by the time students enter the workforce. (Kalantzis and Cope, 2005; Smith, 2012.) Thus, today's student must become dedicated to lifelong learning, understand how to be a self-directed learner, and embrace the reality of an ever-changing world.
While 21st Century learning needs deep core subject knowledge, it also is crucial that today’s schools provide students with a range of “soft skills,” which include “the ability to use knowledge, facts, and data to effectively solve workplace problems” (US Dept. of Labor, www.dol.gov/odep/pubs/fact/softskills.htm Creativity, communication, and critical thinking required to solve complex problems are crucial for success. The integration of content knowledge with these skills better prepares students for college as well as the workforce; solving complex problems in the new global economy requires systems thinking within themes that will drive our communities forward. These themes include health, civic, financial, and environmental literacy in a global context. Beyond these skills, a 21st Century learner effectively applies technology to navigate media to access and evaluate information, while also being equipped with the management skills to meet goals and handle projects that require cognitive proficiencies that include the basics of reading, writing, mathematics, and beyond.