Career & Innovation in Cherry Creek Schools is a K-12 approach which aligns core content curriculum, STEM standards, career exploration, and Career & Technical Education (CTE) to maximize engagement in a student’s Individual Career and Academic Plan (ICAP). Students are empowered to think, to learn, to achieve and to care through opportunities that are meaningful and relevant to the individual student.
Every journey begins with instilling the characteristics of the innovator’s mindset. To inspire that mindset, Cherry Creek School District provides innovative learning spaces in each K-8 school that promote collaboration, foster critical thinking, integrate technology, stimulate creativity, and support design thinking and project-based learning. The K-5 STEAM curriculum lays a foundation for students to be problem solvers, and more importantly, problem finders—values that support all content areas and future careers.
Using the innovator’s mindset as a foundation, middle school curriculum encourages individual students to explore their interests and aptitudes through career exploration and elective course offerings. Students can begin CTE coursework as early as 7th grade in Cherry Creek Schools. During this time, students are identifying their Pathway of Purpose and building an ICAP to guide their course selection through high school graduation and postsecondary education.
As students transition to high school, so does their opportunity to enhance their ICAP. Students continue taking high-level coursework, CTE courses, concurrent and dual enrollment courses, and advanced placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses. Students can also participate in Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSO) in each pathway. Students are encouraged to take advantage of a wide-variety of work-based learning opportunities such a school-based enterprises, internships, and apprenticeships where students can thrive in their Postsecondary Workforce Readiness (PWR) competencies.
Upon graduation, Cherry Creek School District students are prepared to further their careers having acquired content knowledge, occupational experience, and industry-level certifications/credentials. Whether a student’s path leads directly to industry, military service, or to a two or four-year institution, it is through the lens of innovation that their career begins in Cherry Creek Schools.