High School Redesign


Reimagining high schools to respond to the current and future needs of students and communities.


Our Point of View

Our vision is for Colorado high schools to design and implement personalized learning environments that attend to each and every student’s social and emotional needs and offer relevant and rigorous experiences to prepare them for postsecondary learning, work, and life. CEI also aims for Colorado districts to leverage this work on behalf of broader system transformation, using high school redesign as the fulcrum for improvement in other schools systemwide.

This work is part of a growing local and national movement to rethink student outcomes and learning. CEI is drawn to this work because, though Colorado is home to a wealth of college and career opportunities, we know our schools and systems do not sufficiently or equitably produce graduates who are prepared to access and excel in these opportunities.

Through CEI’s work and that of partner schools, districts, and other organizations across the state, high schools are opening up new pathways to engage and empower students in designing their futures. Though schools are aware of the need for redesign and share a sense of urgency for different and better student outcomes, many lack a clear and compelling vision for what it might look like. This is particularly true when it comes to designing and managing innovation change in partnership with students and communities.

Additionally, high schools are leaning into the importance of social emotional development for academic and broader life success, which is backed up by research and practice. Schools and districts that embrace this work are pushing themselves to rethink relationships, relevance, and rigor to ensure that all students, particularly those farthest from opportunity, are able to demonstrate academic, non-academic outcomes, and essential skills required to graduate.

Alongside CEI’s pursuit of competency-based and personalized learning approaches to K-12, our organization supports high schools across Colorado to design, test, and scale change ideas in ways that promote school-wide redesign and inform district system conditions. CEI engages educators in schools and central offices to leverage improvement science practices and structures to:

  • Embrace cutting edge research and rethink practices in social emotional development, relevance, and rigor;
  • Identify a relevant entry point to begin their work; and
  • Create learning environments and experiences aligned to their graduate profile.

This includes coaching of school design teams, leadership training through School Retool, support for STEM and Advanced Placement pathways, and Seeing is Believing tours to promote inspiration and collaboration across schools.

Here Are The Questions We’re Asking

How might we…

Cultivate and diffuse aligned mindsets in designing for equity and leading for change across schools and central offices?

Better leverage and embrace research around the science of learning and development as part of high school redesign?

Expand opportunities to work-based learning in ways that promote equitable relevance?

Support schools and districts to engage their broader communities in authentically informing and sharing ownership for this work?

Featured Project: Social Emotional Redesign Network

Download the Social Emotional Redesign Network one-pager to learn more about the the benefits for participating schools, including on-site consulting and coaching, funding to support peer observation and strategic community engagement, and participating in the 2019 High School Redesign Accelerator.