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Press Release: Our K-12 District Has Been Named a 21st Century Learning Exemplar by P21

posted Dec 1, 2015, 7:55 AM by Lisa Kreinbring   [ updated Dec 1, 2015, 7:55 AM ]

Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies K-12 District Named 21st Century Learning Exemplar by P21 
Exemplars nationwide feature how innovation makes learning possible for all students

DETROIT, December 1, 2015 -  P21, the leading organization advocating for 21st century learning for every student, (formerly the Partnership for 21st Century Skills), has designated Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies (HFA: SCS) as an exemplar school district, as part of a nationwide initiative identifying models of exemplary 21st century learning practices that are preparing students for success across the United States.  The HFA: SCS K-12 district is the first P21 exemplar in Michigan.

Now entering its 4th year, P21’s 21st Century Learning Exemplar Program shares case studies of schools and districts that have successfully transformed student learning through innovative practices that include collaborative teaching and learning, distributed leadership, student voice and choice, engaged community partnerships, a climate of achievement, and evidence-based practices into teaching, curriculum, assessment, and professional development. 

The 2016 21st Century Learning Exemplars, including the HFA: SCS district, were selected along with 16 schools and 2 other districts through a rigorous application process, and evaluated for educational excellence and 21st century learning implementation.

“The Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies school district is honored to be recognized as the first P21 21st Century Learning Exemplar in Michigan,” said Nanette Gill, Superintendent of the Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies district. “HFA: SCS was designed to prepare young people to thrive in the 21st century – to be well-equipped as innovative thinkers and creative problem-solvers and to provide the next generation of inspired contributors to the city of Detroit and beyond. We are delighted to share our story and the great work of our school community.”

“Every student deserves to experience authentic 21st century learning” said Dr. Helen Soulé, P21 Executive Director. “P21 is proud to highlight the hard work exhibited by all P21 Exemplars as they redefine what teaching and learning means for students and educators in a world where learning doesn’t stop.”

Case studies on schools and districts just announced, including the HFA: SCS district will be unveiled in 2016.  All PreK-12 schools in the U.S. are eligible to be considered for the Exemplar Program and encouraged to apply between December 1 – January 15 at

Visit for a list of all Exemplars, case studies, powerful learning stories, podcasts, videos, and more. #PatternsofInnovation

Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies K-12 district focuses on the development of learners who are prepared to succeed in college, pursue a career of choice, and identify and solve problems in the community through innovative thinking and creative problem solving. The district is comprised of two fully enrolled art & design charter schools serving a total of more than 1,200 students -- Henry Ford Academy: Elementary School (K-5, opened 2012) and Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies Middle/High School (6-12, opened 2009). Both are Thompson Foundation 90/90 schools authorized by Grand Valley State University, governed by Public School Academies of Detroit, and managed by Henry Ford Learning Institute (HFLI), a non-profit that exists to redesign how we learn.  The middle/high school is co-developed with the College for Creative Studies (CCS) and located on its campus. 100% of graduates in the Class of 2015 were accepted to a 2 or 4-year college/university. Learn more at and

P21 recognizes that all learners need educational experiences in school and beyond, from cradle to career, to build knowledge and skills for success in a globally and digitally interconnected world.  Representing over 5 million members of the global workforce, P21 is a catalyst organization uniting business, government and education leaders from the U.S. and abroad to advance evidence-based education policy and practice and to make innovative teaching and learning a reality for all. Learn more at and @P21Learning


P21 Media Contact:
Tatyana Warrick ( / 202-312-6430) 


HFA: SCS K-12 District Media Contact:

Lisa Kreinbring (  / 248-259-4066)