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CASL – Leading 21st Century Education
In the current climate of budget cuts and public education scrutiny, we at CASL believe that we have an extraordinary opportunity to showcase the value of school librarians as 21st century educators. This will help ensure an environment in which school librarians and school library programs can survive and thrive.

Colorado Academic Standards
Colorado schools are implementing the Common Core and the revised Colorado Academic Standards (CAS).   School Librarians are uniquely qualified to teach to and assist in the implementation of the new standards, which reflect workforce readiness and 21st century skills. The 21st Century skills as defined by the Colorado Department of Education are critical thinking, collaboration, information literacy, invention and self-directed learning.  We realize, however, that many of our stakeholders may be unfamiliar with what is meant by the phrase “21st Century skills” and many do not realize the essential role that school librarians play in teaching those skills to students.

ESSA - Every Student Succeeds Act 
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) replaces the No Child Left Behind version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act with language that includes “effective school library programs.” Advocacy is key for librarians during the implementation of this legislation.

Project – Marketing 21st Century Skills 
The CASL Board has been hard at work creating a brand or “taglines” for the 21st century skills of the Colorado Academic Standards.  We tackled this mission with the goal of creating a 3-5 word tagline for each of the skills (the fewer the syllables the better) so that administrators, teachers, students and also NON-educators would have a better understanding of what they mean.  Here is the result:

  • SELF DIRECTED LEARNING - “Own Your Learning”
  • COLLABORATION - “Work Together Learn Together”
  • INFORMATION LITERACY - “Untangle the Web”
  • CRITICAL THINKING - “Think Deeply, Think Differently”
  • INVENTION - “Create Solutions"
Project: Implementation of ESSA
Talking points and sample messages have been around implementation of ESSA. The messages are customized for different audiences.

This Site
On this site, you will find message templates (sample e-mails, letters, newsletter blurbs, brochures, and even videos) containing these taglines and targeting specific stakeholder audiences in order to promote school librarians as 21st century skills experts.  We hope that these sample templates will be used by school librarians and school library advocates to inform their communities about the vital and irreplaceable role that school librarians play in teaching and learning. Maybe you’ll get inspired to create something for us that we can use, too.  In the meantime, we hope you find this site helpful.

CASL Board:
Megan McQuinn - President
Molly GibneyAt Large Member
Dave Sanger - AASL Delegate/Higher Ed Representative
Becky Russell - CDE Liaison to CASL
Terri Brungardt - At Large Member
Katherine Kates - At Large Member
Rachel Budzynski - At Large Member

Questions? Contact: Becky Johnson, CASL Past-President, e-mail: rebecca.johnson@d51schools.org