​Exemplary 21st century schools - United States

Who's doing a nice job of infusing 21st century skills, digital technologies, problem- or inquiry-based learning, and other innovative practices into their school organization? Which schools are good models that others could (should) visit to see what a new educational paradigm might look like? Please list them here! Include hyperlink to school web site, name of contact person, and other useful information. See the Iowa examples below for suggested format.

CATEGORIES (feel free to add others)

GA = global awareness
PBL = problem-based learning
CBL = challenge based learning (http://challengebasedlearning.com/)
IBL = inquiry-based / discovery learning
1:1 = 1-to-1 laptop initiative
TI - technology integration (doing it well!)
CI = community involved
SA = special admit (test/screening/grades required for entrance)
NSA = no special admit
SBD = standards based design
CRT= creativity, arts integration, arts education and other creative learning
PD=Professional Development Emphasis

Interested in schools outside the United States? See this list.



  • Hoover City Schools, Keith Price, Chief Technology Officer; Ron Dodson, Director of Secondary Curriculum, Instruction, and Technology; Dr. Deborah Camp, Director of Elementary Curriculum, Instruction, and Technology (all 16 schools meet your criteria (GA, TI, CI, NSA)
  • Mountain Brook City Schools, Donna Williamson, Director of Technology (GA, TI, CI, NSA)
  • R. A. Mitchell Elementary, Dr. Charlotte Berry or Wendy Goodwin. TI
  • Alabama School of Fine Arts, John Northrop, Executive Director; Brad Hill, Director of Curriculum and Instruction (GA, TI, CI, SA)


American Samoa



  • New Tech High . PBL, TI.
  • High Tech High , Joe Hicke. TI
  • Diablo Valley School, Concord, IBL
  • Sacramento Valley School, IBL
  • Robert C. Fisler School , Fullerton, CA, Jackie Pearce (Principal) or Ted Lai (District Director, Technology & Media Services), 1:1, GA, PBL, IBL, TI. This school is in its fifth year of operation and focuses on science and technology. The 1:1 laptop program goes from 2nd-8th grade. The Kindergarten and 1st grade students have laptop carts and desktops in the classroom. The school emphasizes a digital learning environment with laptops, probeware, Proscopes, interactive whiteboards, video streaming, and other online tools. Emphasis is on communication and creation.
  • Hermosa Drive Elementary , Fullerton, CA, Robin Gilligan (Principal) or Ted Lai, 1:1, PBL, IBL, TI. This school is in its fifth year of a 1:1 laptop program. GATE students utilize laptops in a 24/7 model from 3rd-6th grades. All students have a laptop in sixth grade as well. Although still in the planning stages, the program is being expanded to 4th-6th grade in the next two years. Classes are utilizing laptops, probeware, Proscopes, interactive whiteboard, video streaming, and other online tools. There are several community-based projects that include presentations and research done by students.
  • The Child's Primary School , San Diego, CA, IBL, TI, CI, CRT. The Child's Primary School, a private K-8, was founded in 1983 based on the principles of value and respect for the individual uniqueness of each child. We believe learning is promoted in an environment that supports each child within a community that includes family, school, and those who influence the life of the child. Our educational philosophy is grounded in the richness of the individual diversity and respect for all people. We understand learning to be an exciting and lifelong process and to include all aspects of the whole child: physical, emotional, social, and intellectual.
  • The Children's School, La Jolla, CA, Jesse Brand (Director of Technology) or Rob Greco (Nelson Middle Years Program Director) PBL, IBL, 1:1, TI, CRT.
  • Renaissance High School, Watsonville (La Selva), CA; GA, PBL, IBL, TI, CI, SBD, CRT, PD. One of the 20 Model Continuation High Schools in California. All instruction is project-based and student-centered. Active collaboration with the Central California Writing Project (CCWP), part of the National Writing Project, and implementing Improving Students’ Academic Writing (ISAW) for 2010-2011.

  • Littleton Public Schools: Inspired Writing, Littleton Colorado. Inspired Writing is about placing 1,700 ASUS EeePC netbooks in all 5th grades, every section of 6th grade and 9th grade language arts in support of the district literacy initiatives around writing. Students learn a command of information, masterful communication, creative productivity and ethical citizenship through writing. The teacher support wiki for this project can be accessed at http://inspiredwriting.wikispaces.com/ . The district ETIL plan outlining the overall project is online at http://bit.ly/nXL6h The CIO, Dan Maas, maintains a blog at www.littletonpublicschools.net/blogs
  • The Watershed School, Boulder



District of Columbia


  • Whitfield Career Academy, Dalton, GA. Tim Fleming, Principal. Serves high-needs community. Increased college attendance from 13% to 94%. Design principles = personalization, common intellectual mission, adult world connection, and teacher as designer. PBL, CI
  • Holy Innocents' Episcopal School , Rick Betts. 1:1, GA, TI
  • The Lovett School, Atlanta, GA, Laura Deisley-Director of 21st Century Learning GA, 1:1, TI, CI. We are working towards more student-centured, inquiry-driven and project-based learning experiences--many in conjunction with the opening our new Middle School. We have just finished two years as host school for Powerful Learning Practices. We will gladly share examples of our pilots and evolving practices in math, science, English, and social studies supported by social media and computer programming tools.
  • The Westminster Schools, Center for Teaching, Robert Ryshke Center for Teaching at Westminster has started a professional learning community on the 21st Century Classroom. In addition, there are some other PLCs in using technology in math, science and economics in the Junior High School, Contact Bo Adams, at boa@westminster.net. Westminster Schools is in Atlanta, GA, a K-12 independent school of about 1,830 students.
  • Parkside Elementary School Parkside Elementary School, Phillip Luck TI, CI, 1:1, NSA Promethean Boards and Technology in every classroom. In addition, two Mac Laptop carts with 20 computers each, iPods and printer. Parkside Elementary School is in Atlanta, GA, a K-5 public school of about 625.
  • Cherokee County School District - **Teach 21 Program** - Jackie HopkinsAssistant Superintendent of Accountability, Technology and Strategic Planning. Electronic whiteboards, LCD projectors, teacher laptops and a minimum of 5 computers in every classroom. Mobile labs in every team area or grade level in addition to mobile labs for Teach 21 teachers. Qwizdom - student voting devices in MS and HS and Activotes for the Promethean boards in the Elem Schools, video and digital cameras and podcasting kits too. Teach 21 classes such as Web 2.0, Podcasting, Digital Storytelling, What a Wiki, Googleexternal image t_mini-a.pngexternal image t_mini-a.png 101, and SCRATCH, Classroom Blogging, Adobe Premierexternal image t_mini-a.pngexternal image t_mini-a.png, Clay Animation and more. (TI, CI, 1:1, NSA)






  • CAM CSD , Dominic Giegerich. 1:1
  • Cardinal CSD , Arnie Snook. 1:1
  • Central City CSD , John Dotson. 1:1
  • Future Pathways, DMPS, Erin Stoen - PBL, TI, Co-curricular
    The Future Pathways Learning Process is grounded in current educational research. Students collaborate with their teachers to design co-curricular projects that promote deep understanding, honor their interests, and are relevant to their lives. A student’s project evolves throughout several stages: posing essential questions, conducting ongoing research, having in-depth conversations with teachers, and purposeful revisions of their work. This process concludes with the creation of a product and performance that are shared with a variety of audiences.
  • Newell-Fonda CSD , Jeff Dicks, Alynn Coppock, or Tim Limbert. 1:1
  • Norwalk CSD , Sandy Lathrum or Tim Geyer. TI
  • Sigourney CSD, Todd Abrahamson or Jeff Kirby. (GA, CI, PBL, TI, , IBL, 1:1)
  • West Delaware CSD Marcia Powell IBL, TI


  • Graves County Schools, PBL, IBL, TI, CI Graves County Schools is an extremely student-centered school district that has many award winning and progressive programs to prepare students with 21st Century Skills. Kenneth Galloway, superintendent; John McMillen, CIO
  • Marshall County SD, Trent Lovett. PBL, TI, CI
  • Hopkins County Schools, TI - Hopkins County Schools recently created positions for Technology Integration Specialist at each high school in the district. They are working with teachers to incorporate more technology equipment use in the classrooms as well as developing projects for students using emerging technology. The TIS are also working with the middle school teachers to incorporate more technology into their classrooms as well.












New Hampshire

New Jersey
  • Hunterdon Central Regional High School, Flemington, NJ, Rob Manciabelli (GA, PBL, IBL, CRT, faculty 1:1)
  • Pascack Valley Regional School District Erich Tusch - Supervisor of Technology (1:1)
  • Medford Township School District (medford.k12.nj.us) especially Connie Papp Taunton Forge School starts computer instruction WEEKLY with kindergarten to fifth grade...every class....every week. Also teaches senior citizens in school lab three courses a year.

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota

Northern Marianas Islands





Puerto Rico

Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota

  • MNPS Virtual Learning, Barbra Thoeming, Scott Merrickexternal image t_mini-a.pngexternal image t_mini-a.png, Nashville, TN; SA, SBD, PD, and more soon. Compiling online learning options for students from best available content and planning to design and implement our own by 2011-12.

  • Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District TI They seem to have it together in terms of infrastructure and modernizing classrooms. They also have a virtual-campus that is getting a lot of press. http://www.cfbisd.edu
  • Frisco ISD Career & Technical Education Center. http://www.friscoisd.org/schools/cte IBL, PBL, TI, CI, NSA - Wes Cunningham (Principal)

Jordan School District did something really cool this year called The Engaged Classroom. Here is more info: The Engaged Classroom .

  • Edmunds Middle School- Navigator Team, Brent Truchon (Social Studies Teacher) 1:1 Laptop Initiative. Google Suite, Wikis, Blogs, Skypeexternal image t_mini-a.pngexternal image t_mini-a.png, Oovoo, Bubbl.us, Glogster, Science probes, Voicethread, Intel Tools, Electronic File Management, Smartboards, Interdisplinary/Project Based Unit on Uganda...


Virgin Islands


West Virginia