Phoenix Union Bioscience High School Designated as a 21st Century Learning Exemplar for 2017-2018

Posted by Communications on 11/9/2017

Phoenix Union Bioscience High School has been designated as a 21st Century Learning Exemplar for 2017-2018 by P21, a catalyst organization uniting business, government and education to advance evidence-based education policy and practice.   Bioscience High School earned this award for its outstanding practices in equipping students with the necessary skills and knowledge for success in college, career, and life.


In order to become part of the P21 Exemplar Program, schools and districts must demonstrate not just an adequate implementation of the Framework for 21st Century Learning, but also expertise in the elements of: Student Agency, Distributed Leadership, a Climate of Achievement, Engaged Community, and use of Evidence and Research.


Bioscience principal, Dr. Holly Batsell, said, “We are honored to be among the hard working schools recognized by the Partnership for 21st Century Learning.  Our core values, mission, and vision are at the heart of preparing students to thrive in college and the work place as skilled, adaptable, and compassionate citizens.”


In addition to receiving an education built upon integration, problem-based learning, and technology, students are required to complete a 200-hour internship with a local organization or nonprofit. These internships often turn into work-study positions during college and lead to connections that last even beyond college. In addition, during each of their four years at Bioscience, students complete year-long capstone projects. Students identify and analyze a local problem, interview stakeholders, design and implement interventions, evaluate their results, and present their findings to a panel of stakeholders.  


“Being recognized as a P21 Exemplar School will help up deepen our network of community partners and expand our professional networks with other educators,” said Batsell.


David Ross, CEO at P21 stated, “P21’s Exemplar Program works to identify innovative education paradigms across the country. When policymakers say ‘show me what you mean,’ we turn to our P21 Exemplars for hard evidence.” 


As part of uplifting the best practices from Phoenix Union Bioscience High School, P21 will develop a case study and release it to the public for free download at in the Spring of 2018.