Catalina Foothills School District

Catalina Foothills School District:
A district serving 5,200 students in suburban Tucson, AZ.
District Strategic Plan – Deep Learning Goals:

  • Reduce the gap between current and desired student academic achievement.
  • Raise the engagement of students so they are highly motivated to set and achieve increasingly challenging goals for deep learning.
  • Partner with families and community to achieve (…) strategic priorities.

CFSD has applied systems thinking (ST) in both the classroom and organization since 1989, being the first Waters Center project. The district has embedded ST concepts as appropriate throughout its curriculum and has been a demonstration site in partnership with the Waters Center, rather than a project, since 2011. The district’s community chose to include systems thinking as one of the deep learning proficiencies they see as essential to deep learning for all students (along with citizenship, critical thinking and problem solving, creativity and innovation, communication, and collaboration). CFSD has numerous structures that keep systems thinking learning alive for their staff and students:

  • Internally-conducted Waters Center Systems Thinking Level 1 and Level 2 workshops during the school year that are facilitated by staff members who are Waters Center Associates.
  • ST learning sessions during administrative meetings.
  • Systems thinking as a component of school improvement plans.
  • Staff-generated rubrics for the ST deep learning proficiency.