Building 21High School

About B21

The mission of Building 21 is to empower networks of learners to connect with their passions and build agency to impact the world.  Our learning model allows students to learn at their own pace, to engage with content and curriculum that they find interesting and relevant, and to apply and further develop their skills in real-world environments. At Building 21, you will experience:

Relationships at the Core
Every student is known and understood - this provides the motivation, safety, and confidence that students need to discover and pursue their passions.

All students at Building 21 are assigned to an advisory that loop with them through graduation. Advisory focuses on personal development through our Habits of Success competencies, building relationships with adults and peers, and supports the development of our students’ Personalized Learning Plans.

Support in developing and managing Personalized Learning Pathways and Real World Learning Experiences

Students’ own strengths, interests, and passion shape their pathway across foundation and design years towards college and career readiness. 

We base our elective coursework around student interest using career inventories. Our five pathways are focused on careers in:

  1. Business 

  2. Healthcare

  3. Public Service

  4. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)

  5. Visual Arts

Students receive opportunities in their foundational years (years 1 & 2) to be exposed to these career pathways through our Foundations course and choice studios. Students learn through real-world application and career exposure as we work alongside our community partners in designing our studios. 

Students begin to design their pathway during their design years (years 3 & 4) diving deeper into the electives that pertain to their passions. Alongside this course work, students have opportunities for:

  • Dual Enrollment / Advanced Placement Courses

  • Internships / Fellowships

  • Work Experience

  • Project Development and Implementation

  • Building an ePortfolio for post-secondary preparation

Problem-based Instruction

Learning is organized into studios that last for 6-8 weeks. Studios provide students the opportunity to integrate content and apply their skills and knowledge to solve real-world problems. Each studio ends with an impact module where students get to implement their project/product/solution for an authentic audience.

Competency-based Assessment

Learning in the core content areas (English, Math, Science, Social Studies, Health, Art, Physical Education) is aligned to a set of skills that students must master in order to graduate.

The core element of a competency-based approach is that students progress to more advanced work upon demonstration of mastery, not their age or grade.

  • Students work at levels that are appropriately challenging. 

  • Students are assessed on performance or the application of the skills. 

  • Some students may complete courses more rapidly than others. Students can be at different performance levels -- such as 10th level in an English portfolio and 8th level in a math portfolio.

  • Teachers guide students to produce sufficient evidence to determine proficiency.

In addition to the core content areas, coursework is aligned to a set of competencies that are targeting and assessing 21st Century Skills (NextGen): Collaboration, Project Quality, Presentation, and Written Communication in the Workplace. Students receive feedback to hone these skills with equal importance to our core content areas. 

Students also complete a checklist of experiences to complete their Wayfinding portfolio including but not limited to: completion of personality and career inventories, developing a post-secondary plan, writing a resume, participating in a mock interview.

The compilation of our portfolios support students in making informed choices for their post-secondary plan while preparing them with the skills necessary to be successful for college or career.