Skills for the 21st Century

SKILL 1: WELLNESS • Maintain Wellness and Emotional Intelligence
Social Expectation
Students who are able to maintain their wellness are able to find and sustain balance between all areas of their lives: academics, personal relationships, and physical health. Students who demonstrate emotional intelligence learn to read and respond to emotions effectively and cope with changing circumstances in order to build meaningful and purposeful lives. Students who are proficient in this skill are able to:

A. Regularly engage in activities that help to prevent disease and maintain good physical health status
B. Follow safety precautions
C. Independently access resources and/or medical assistance when appropriate
D. Identify personal strengths and weaknesses and regularly reflect on ways to improve
E. Identify emotions and sources of motivation as well as infer how others feel, their sources of motivation, and how their perspective differs from their own
F. Cope with change and stress with strategies that don’t negatively impact others
G. Maintain focus and are able to regulate behavior
H. Employ humor to encourage or compliment  

SKILL 2: ACCESS • Accessing and Interpreting Information
Academic Expectation
Students who can access and interpret information are able to absorb information and data adequately and effectively from a variety of sources using both traditional and technological means. Once gathered, students can determine the meaning of the information and draw conclusions from it. Students who are proficient in this skill are able to:

A. Listen, read, and/or watch intently to determine the main idea as well as relevant and important details from texts with a lexile measure of text difficulty.
B. Compare and contrast both text and numeric data in order to infer both literal and non-literal meanings from 2-3 different sources
C. Pose relevant questions; evaluate the credibility of sources of information, and record important and relevant information accurately
D. Paraphrase what was read or interpreted in their own words
E. Employ both traditional and “high tech” tools of measurement precisely and record results accurately
F. Determine the meaning of unknown words using context cues, word parts, and other comprehension strategies
G. Use traditional search methods as well as technology-based resources to locate information and refine searches as needed
H. Read multiple books per school year across 4-6 different genres

SKILL 3: PROCESS • Process Information and Media Literacy
Academic Expectation
The media-literate student can use information-processing skills to evaluate and summarize data effectively in order to make connections and draw conclusions. Additionally, he/she can determine the reliability and validity of messages received from the mass media as well as other print and electronic sources. Students who are proficient in this skill are able to:

A. Pose a question or formulate a thesis broad enough to enable the creation of key concepts to act as a guide to the research
B. Proficiently access and interpret relevant and important information as delineated in the Access Rubric
C. Question faulty logic, identify techniques of persuasion, and counter misleading messages in texts and media
D. Use information ethically by properly including citations, bibliographies, quotes, graphs, etc.
E. Draw a conclusion summarizing research to respond to their question or prove/disprove their thesis
F. Combine two or three technologies to effectively collect information and present results of the research
G. Accurately process and interpret numerical data as well as convert data into visual depictions

SKILL 4: COMMUNICATE • Communicate Effectively
Social and Academic Expectation
Students who communicate effectively are able to explain and record their ideas clearly and coherently to others using a broad range of media including: speaking, writing, images, and graphics. Students who communicate effectively vary their voice, word choice, level of formality, and content based on the purpose, task, and audience. Students who are proficient in this skill are able to:

A. Engage actively in both informal conversation and academic discourse
B. Deliver a speech or write a text that is clear and focused, with a strong main idea that is accurate and detailed
C. Organize a speech or write a text that complements the topic/ main idea with a clear opening and conclusion as well as natural transitions between segments/paragraphs
D. Use a voice or tone that is appropriate to the purpose
E. Choose vocabulary that is precise and clear as well as appropriate to the purpose and audience
F. Create statements or sentences that are easy to read or listen to, with variety in length, structure, and beginnings
G. Speak or write with only minor errors that don’t interfere with the message or could easily go unnoticed
H. Write both short and extended informative or explanatory texts
I. Read, write, speak and listen for comprehension of a second language

SKILL 5: REASON • Reason Abstractly and Employ Inventive Thinking
Academic Expectation
Students who can reason can generate new ways of viewing something outside the boundaries of standard conventions. They can compare and contrast, identify trends and patterns, determine cause and effect, as well as understand the interconnectedness of systems in order to create something innovative and unique. Students who are proficient in this skill are able to:

A. Create a new object, solution or idea while remaining within specifications or criteria
B. Synthesize ideas into a coherent whole as well as break ideas down into smaller components
C. Compare and contrast two objects, situations, or texts in order to find commonalities and isolate differences
D. Identify trends and patterns in data, history, behavior, and other natural phenomena
E. Infer and predict both the causes and effects of one thing or action on another
F. Utilize context cues to infer what happened in a situation, a rationale for behavior or the logic behind an action
G. Articulate how they reached a conclusion
H. Predict consequences of an action and/or the implications of the consequences

SKILL 6: EXPLORE • Explore and Solve Problems Creatively
Academic Expectation
Students who are able to explore and creatively solve problems are able to synthesize information from many different sources to gain a clear understanding of a problem, determine its root causes, and develop and test a solution in a way that has not been previously tried. Once tried, solutions can be evaluated to determine if the problem has been solved or a new problem has emerged. Students who are proficient in this skill are able to:

A. Identify a problem, make an educated guess, pose a research question, or form a hypothesis
B. Develop a plan to gather knowledge to answer the question (See Skill 3)
C. Organize information in a way that is clear and concise enough to be able to analyze it (see Skill 5)
D. Design a procedure to test a solution to a problem or answer a research question
E. Work within specified parameters and revise their actions when necessary
F. Determine the best solution to a problem from many alternatives
G. Create a novel idea, new use, or creative solution that builds on something that has been previously discovered, constructed, or solved

SKILL 7: RISK • Take Risks Strategically
Social, Civic, and Academic Expectation
Students who know how to strategically take risks are able to take action or initiative in a situation after careful consideration of the potential outcomes of each of their choices. Then, strategic risk takers are able to develop a plan of action, implement the plan, and reflect on their progress as they respond to roadblocks that may arise. Students who are proficient in this skill are able to:

A. Identify a problem, analyze factors that have contributed to the problem, and brainstorm potential solutions to the problem
B. Predict the consequences of each solution and analyze other factors to determine the best solution
C. Set a goal that is measurable, attainable, and relevant to the circumstances
D. Break down a goal into manageable steps to form a plan of action and follow through on the plan to completion
E. Engage in on-going self-reflection and alter behavior as they make mistakes and/or encounter roadblocks

SKILL 8: COLLABORATE • Collaborate and Influence Others
Social and Civic Expectation
Students who can collaborate and influence others have mastered the advanced communication skills necessary to cooperate, lead, and advocate for themselves and others. Collaborators use their interpersonal skills to persuade, motivate, mediate, and facilitate groups into action. Students who are proficient in this skill are able to:

A. Contribute on a team or group by completing assigned tasks of high quality, without revisions
B. Focus on the task at hand and fully participate in the experience when the task produces a different than expected outcome
C. Treat team members respectfully and use communication skills that advance the work of the group
D. Express disagreement in an assertive and respectful manner
E. Persuade others by making claims and explaining why a claim could be controversial
F. Identify reasons for and against a claim which compels the listener into action
G. Use persuasive techniques when speaking or writing which establishes credibility with the audience
H. Negotiate outcomes, delegate tasks, facilitate discussion, and provide non-judgmental feedback to others

SKILL 9: MANAGE • Manage Life and Resources
Social and Civic Expectation
Students who can manage their life and resources can apply their self-determination and courage to become a life-long learner and navigate through their lives with increasing independence. This skill includes the ability to ethically and responsibly manage their finances, time, materials, and personal living space. Students who are proficient in this skill are able to:

A. Make rational and feasible decisions to set and attain financial goals
B. Describe how cost-of-living, geography, and national economic conditions affect personal finances
C. Develop, follow, monitor, and adjust a budget.
D. Independently explore a topic in depth, yielding a rich awareness of little known information indicating a professional interest in a subject
E. Take initiative to complete what is required and consistently produce a product that meets expectations
F. Make explicit references to previously learned information and can apply it to both a similar and new situation
G. Review past experiences in depth to reveal the “life lesson” learned from a situation
H. Demonstrate good school citizenship and study habits

Social and Civic Expectation
Students who are good citizens demonstrate a thorough understanding of their rights and responsibilities as a student and as citizens of the United States and a global society. By being well-versed in civic literacy, students recognize their obligations, make decisions which reflect that understanding, and act on them in an ethical way. Finally, students apply this concept to gain a perspective on the world. Students who are proficient in this skill are able to:
A. Reflect on their own attitudes and beliefs about their culture and how it compares to the cultures of others
B. Participate independently and collaboratively in civic-engagement activities
C. Discuss core beliefs and their origins as well as recognize ethical issues when presented in a complex, multilayered context
D. Use primary source documents and reflect on historical accounts from secondary sources to analyze how religion, politics, economy, customs, and other beliefs and practices have influenced historical accounts of an event
E. Value interactions with individuals representing different cultures
F. Discuss current events to insightfully analyze ways in which culture impacts decision making of specific nations/groups from the perspective of multiple cultural groups

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