CKS Looking to the Future: A Twenty-First Century School

Many think that the biggest challenge for today’s schools is keeping up with the endless stream of new technology.

But technology is just one part of the ever-changing process of becoming a school of the twenty-first century.

“Today’s kindergartners will be retiring in the year 2069,” Christ the King Principal Karen Thomas said.

“We have no idea what the world will look like then, yet we are charged with preparing our students for life in that world.

“This means giving them the ability to reinvent themselves. In order to succeed, they must not only be able to learn, but to unlearn, and then relearn.”
According to Thomas, four areas have been identified in this endeavor: The four “C’s.”

  • Critical thinking
  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Creativity

In the past few years, Christ the King has implemented a series of programs and tools to address these areas.

For example, in the arts program there has been an increased emphasis on listening skills and enhanced writing.

Students use the Kodály method, which instructs through listening exercises, visual aids and movement.

The goal is to not just look to one type of class to learn one type of skill.

All classes incorporate the four “C’s,” no matter the subject, and technology ties it all together.

CKS has implemented a centralized, virtual computer system which allows limitless storage.

Programs and data can be easily added in minutes and hours, instead of days.

Through MAP testing and programs like Encore and Raising the Bar, strengths and weaknesses are identified more efficiently, so each student’s curriculum can be customized to his or her educational needs.

“When any of us thinks of education, we usually think of what we knew as kids,” Thomas said.

“Back then, you picked a career and geared your education toward that goal.

“But today’s students will grow up to perform many jobs and have multiple careers.

“Therefore, a twenty-first century school needs to be flexible, creative, challenging and complex.

“We have to address a rapidly changing world, filled with fantastic new problems as well as exciting new possibilities,” Thomas continued.

“The best we can do is teach them how to keep learning throughout their lives.

“With all the changes and challenges, the one constant is our faith.

“We will continue to provide a strong spiritual foundation that will carry on throughout their lifetimes.”