Boulder Valley School District

Post-Graduation Readiness

A Vision for Transformative Educational Experiences

Change is all around us. Today the highest sought jobs are in artificial intelligence, machine learning, data science, cybersecurity and digital transformation.

Who could have predicted that when most of us were in school? The future of work will continue to evolve. In fact, according to a report authored by the Institute For The Future (IFTF), 85 percent of the jobs that will exist in 2030 haven't even been invented yet.

In a rapidly changing world, today’s students need educational experiences that go far beyond the traditional classroom environment. To be competitive, students need experiences that push them academically, develop skills that are immediately applicable, and require them to engage with real-world problems in structured, supported, real-world contexts. Our community expects public education to provide opportunities that allow every child to succeed. Employers want education to align with workforce needs. BVSD must do more to meet this challenge – at this crucial moment.

Our Vision

BVSD’s new Grad Plus framework expands opportunities for students to graduate with more than just a diploma, empowered with the additional skills and the competitive advantage to contend for the college and career of their choice, including jobs that haven’t even been imagined yet. Grad Plus bolsters opportunities for students to earn college credit while in high school, participate in work-based experience, achieve industry certifications and become invaluable to companies locally and internationally by becoming fully bilingual and biliterate.

A high school diploma isn’t enough anymore. We must provide expanded access to work based learning for all students. This means learning about work from the youngest age through guest speakers and field trips. As students mature, the focus moves to learning through work through opportunities to shadow professionals and then participate in industry aligned classes, apprenticeships and internships, and ultimately develop transferable skills that are invaluable regardless of what path a student chooses to take.

Where Students Learn Matters

To support this effort, we know that we will need to build learning environments and provide tools that match those found in cutting-edge labs just miles away in both the premier state university and companies that are in our backyard. BVSD classrooms must be places where students can use the latest equipment and techniques. Whether they’re looking to learn how to solder electronics, monitor vital signs or operate a high-powered laser, our students need space outfitted for that work.

These facilities also must be flexible enough to adapt to the speed of change and meet the needs of new, developing industries. 

Today, we are limited by our facilities and resources. Currently BVSD is unable to meet the demand for Career and Technical Education classes, in part due to the rigidity of the traditional school building design of most of our secondary schools and Boulder Technical Education Center (TEC).

The renovations laid out in the 2022 Facility Critical Needs Plan at our PK-8, middle, and high schools, as well as Boulder TEC will build a stronger bridge between education and the world of work, so that our students are ready and nimble to make the transition from learner to producer. By revolutionizing the spaces, BVSD students will have the optimum environments to gain real-world, hands-on experiences in in-demand fields such as Cybersecurity, Biomedical Science, Creative Media Production, Computer Science, Engineering, Healthcare, Culinary Arts, and more.  

Engagement is Critical

If these plans seem a little aspirational, that is by design. Through our strong partnership with our local chambers of commerce, we know a lot about what is needed by business and industry. The next step will be to ensure these new learning environments meet the needs of our students and community. BVSD will engage in a collaborative process that includes local employers, school leaders and faculty, students, and parents. The process will be informed by input from students and families regarding career pathway interests, discussions with local industry partners about collaborative programming, and ideas from district leaders, principals, and faculty about the feasibility and appropriateness for where to locate various programs. There will be opportunities for communities to provide input as well. When projects move into the design phase, school design advisory teams will work with the architects to guide what the renovations will look like at each school.

CTE Investments by Level

Elementary School - Exploration Begins

The journey begins in elementary school where career exploration activities will be actively integrated throughout elementary grades to help ensure that students are introduced to a wide variety of careers very early and that they are always keeping postgraduate preparation in mind. Programming will be designed with throughlines from elementary school to middle school to high school so students can pursue passions that lead from exploration to lifelong career success. 

Investments in Learning Environments at K-8 & Middle Schools

  • Spaces optimized for collaboration across various CTE content areas

  • Updated STEM classroom and lab areas

Investments in Learning Environments at High Schools 

  • Spaces for new programs

  • Modernizing spaces to allow for industry-standard equipment and collaboration

  • Facilities that allow for flexibility and growth as student demand increases and as career fields evolve


Investments in Learning Environments at Boulder TEC 

  • Modernizing current spaces into industry-accurate environments to preview what students will experience in the workforce

  • Current industry standard equipment

  • Large facilities for diverse programming not available at other locations in the District

  • Facilities that allow for flexibility and growth as student demand increases and as career fields evolve

Learn more about Grad Plus here.