FONTANA, CA – Adorned with garlands of blue and gold, Canyon Crest Elementary School welcomed dozens of families and community members on May 16 to celebrate its designation as a 21st Century Learning Exemplar school by the Battelle for Kids Partnership for 21st Century Learning (P21).

The event featured an open house with music, student and faculty speakers, food trucks and technology demonstrations.

“This is quite an honor and reflects the hard work and dedication of our amazing teachers, staff and, most of all, our brilliant students,” Canyon Crest Principal Dr. Kelly Wilbert told the assembly of families, community members and dignitaries. “We could not have achieved this designation without the continued support of the District and P21. Thank you so much. This is such a great day.”

Canyon Crest fifth-grader Nneoma Oji credits the school’s focus on promoting a growth mindset for allowing her to explore college and career opportunities at an early age and put her on a path to success to be an OB-GYN. Oji shared her story for the Canyon Crest community.

“I have learned key habits of working hard, collaborating with my peers, how to develop critical thinking skills and the importance of asking questions,” Oji said during the presentation. “It’s exciting for me to look back on all I have learned at Canyon Crest. I am especially proud to be here on this important day.”

Canyon Crest is one of just 18 K-12 schools, school districts, early learning centers and beyond-school programs across the country to receive an Exemplar designation by P21, a national advocacy group that encourages educators to infuse technology into their curriculum, incorporating the 4 Cs of education: collaboration, critical thinking, creativity and communication.

Wilbert came to Canyon Crest in 2014 determined to transform the culture of instruction at the school and develop a curriculum that served as a model for other schools. Wilbert found an enthusiastic supporter in first-grade teacher Mary Crull.

“When Dr. Wilbert came to Canyon Crest, she had so many ideas centering on technology and the 4 Cs, and she was eager to hear feedback on the best ways to achieve it,” Crull told the assembly. “I think there are 5 Cs, and the fifth is community. Every single one of you is what made this happen.”

After a formal presentation, families were invited into classrooms to view end-of-the-year projects, with students displaying their technological skills through demonstrations on computer tablets.
Music was provided by the Kaiser High School Catamount Pride Band and Canyon Crest Kidz Rock Band, which entertained parents and community members by singing, “Canyon Crest is the best!”

Canyon Crest and fellow P21 Exemplar honorees were recognized in an April awards ceremony in Washington D.C. The Smithsonian Museum held a private professional development session for the P21 cohort.

“Canyon Crest is a shining example of what the future of education will look like: incorporating technology, instituting best practices, collaborating with forward-thinking educators,” Fontana Superintendent Randal S. Bassett said. “Congratulations to Dr. Wilbert and her team for this well-deserved recognition.”


FUSD_CCREST_P21: Canyon Crest Elementary students celebrate the school’s 21st Century Learning Exemplar School status with families, teachers, staff and community members during a campus celebration on May 16.