Cajon Valley USD and Beable Education Form Comprehensive Partnership to Integrate The World of Work Curriculum with Beable’s Life-Ready Literacy System
Cajon Valley Union School District today announced a comprehensive partnership with Beable Education that includes the full integration of the district’s World of Work curriculum into the Beable Life-Ready Literacy System. As part of the partnership, the Beable system will be universally adopted by Cajon Valley’s middle and elementary schools integrated into the Blended and Personalized Digital Learning Ecosystem in all 27 Cajon Valley Schools.
Over the past 4 years, Cajon Valley has developed the comprehensive World of Work (WoW) career development and wellbeing program. The World of Work has since gained international recognition and is used by 50,000 students across seven districts seeking to bridge the gap between education and the workforce. The program integrates the RIASEC typology, Dr. John Holland's widely researched model of vocational interests which is the dominant theoretical framework for understanding the predictive validity of vocational interests. The World of Work framework helps every child develop self-awareness and make connections to careers that fit their unique strengths, interests and workplace values.
Cajon Valley is widely considered one of the most innovative K-12 school districts, with the foresight to undergo a seamless transition to the digital age over the past several years. It has achieved system-wide success with blended and personalized learning through which all teachers and students have 24/7 access to their own district-issued laptop, internet connectivity, and digital ecosystem of robust resources and creativity tools. Most recently, at a time when many low-income districts are staying remote due to Covid-19, Cajon Valley has been among the first to safely open its 27 schools for a mixture of in-person and remote instruction – in part due to its ahead-of-the-curve digital transformation.
In announcing the Beable partnership, Dr. David Miyashiro, superintendent of Cajon Valley, stated, “There are two monumental and interrelated challenges America’s schools must solve. One is the disconnect between education and the world of work. The other is the literacy and opportunity gap. The need to solve these challenges has only grown more urgent due to the pandemic. Now, with Beable, we’re merging literacy and academic content acquisition with career development and financial empowerment. I cannot overstate the importance of this.”
Launched in Summer 2020, Beable is a Public-Benefit Corporation that uses advanced technology and a unique, multi-dimensional approach to identify and close the literacy and opportunity gap with speed and certainty. Its Life-Ready Literacy System is the first comprehensive solution that intertwines social-emotional growth with literacy acceleration, core academic content acquisition, intervention response, ACT/SAT prep and career exposure.
“Beable is changing the dynamics of how we reach kids and propel them to success,” stated CEO Saki Dodelson. “Through our BeableIQ engine, we can now understand the whole child – reading levels, interests and passions, strengths and values. Through this understanding, we can do so much more for students and teachers.”
The Beable system uses a computer-adaptive Lexile® level assessment and RIASEC Career Indicator survey to identify both literacy gaps and goals for each student as well as career-related strengths and traits. The goals set include grade-level reading proficiency, graduation-level proficiency, and also the proficiency level required by the careers in which students become interested. Through BeableIQ, which combines machine learning, data intelligence and automation, Beable then automatically forecasts and prescribes the just-right number of core reading lessons and scaffolds for students to reach their goals, while also automatically providing the just-right combination of instructional methodologies including differentiated whole-class instruction, individualized pullout support, and personalized extra lessons at home.
Through its multi-dimensionality, Beable drives outcomes for general ed, SPED, ELL and gifted/talented students all with the same system. It creates tailored learning paths for each child that seamlessly, automatically span virtual and physical environments – leading all the way to post-graduation success. Dodelson continued, “Just as we were starting development of the Beable system, I was fortunate to meet Dr. Miyashiro and Cajon Valley’s Chief Innovation and Engagement Officer, Ed Hidalgo. I was incredibly impressed by the World of Work curriculum, and immediately knew that I wanted to share in their mission. For the first time, we can directly connect literacy and academic content acquisition to career exposure and employability skills development in order to nurture future-ready students. The World of Work and Beable are each revolutionary in their own rights. Together, we will lead an even bigger multi-dimensional revolution.”
Leading the E2C Revolution Across America
The Cajon Valley/Beable partnership comes at a time when the World of Work is gaining considerable momentum and demonstrating high levels of efficacy. The second wave of a longitudinal study of nearly 3,000 middle school students and 169 teachers at six schools that have adopted WoW shows that after just three years, 95% of the students have developed specific awareness of their “hoped-for” selves (future occupations) and 80% of teachers have developed moderate to high comfort levels in bringing WoW into their classrooms. The study, which encompasses both general education and special needs populations, is being conducted by the University of San Diego’s Jacobs Institute for Innovation in Education.
Peter Callstrom, Chief Employment Officer at the San Diego Workforce Partnership, one of the nation’s leading workforce development boards, commented that “Workforce development traditionally has targeted adults 18 and over to re-train them for high-demand jobs. Not nearly enough has been done early on, in elementary, middle and high school, to make the workforce relevant to kids. The result has been a very wide awareness and opportunity gap. The World of Work is addressing this problem in a powerful way, and we’re joining forces to create career awareness and pathways for kids, parents and communities across the region. I couldn’t agree more with Ed Hidalgo’s statement, ‘How do kids aspire to careers they don’t know exist?’”
According to Cajon Valley’s Hidalgo, “Students and parents have too often been unaware of the workplace opportunities available, let alone which types of opportunities that may ideally suit them. Employers in turn are struggling because their new hires lack the skills to be successful, particularly essential soft skills such as written and verbal communications. Along with the literacy and opportunity gap, we need to close the education-to-career gap. Through Beable, we have the complete solution to do this in the blended learning classroom.”
Hidalgo also stressed the role teachers play, stating, “World of Work is where it is today because teachers have embraced the importance of career development and have also embraced the curriculum. They have opened their minds and hearts; they are the craftsmen and women who make this possible.”
Dr. Miyashiro added, “Our partnership with Beable will have revolutionary impact. The University of San Diego’s research clearly indicates the effect WoW has. With Beable, we can now more broadly distribute our framework, resources and teacher-led activities, while enhancing them with what Beable uniquely brings to the table: Lexile-differentiated independent reading lessons based on our concepts of student strengths, interests, and values, along with high-caliber online professional development. For the first time, we can weave career development throughout the school day by integrating it into literacy instruction and core curriculum. Together with Beable, we can leverage advanced technology to achieve extraordinary impact at national scale.”
For Dodelson, the partnership will have revolutionary impact in other ways, as well. “With our Cajon Valley partners, we can bring teachers, parents, students, communities, chambers of commerce, trade schools, and community colleges together to close the gap and connect literacy to lifelong success and ultimately to social and economic equity. We can help teachers and parents understand the need to put literacy and academics in the context of the world of work from the very beginning of students’ K-12 journeys. We can have kids, teachers, and parents all take the RIASEC survey to develop self-awareness and shared awareness. We can make students and parents aware of and enabled to complete the free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). We can involve entire communities in the form of ‘meet a professional’ mentorships and internships.”
The Cajon Valley and Beable leaders also emphasize the importance of the district’s adoption of the Beable system. “Cajon Valley now becomes the research and development epicenter of life-ready literacy,” Miyashiro said.
Going forward, Beable will be the exclusive provider of the World of Work curriculum, activities, lessons, and professional development. “This is a partnership of philosophy, pedagogy, resources, and technology, powered by our collective belief and passion. The need could not be greater,” Dodelson concluded.
About Cajon Valley Union School District
Named a 2019 Top Workplace in San Diego, Cajon Valley Union School District focuses on the positivity of each student's unique strengths, interests, and values. Serving over 60 square miles of San Diego's East County, Cajon Valley Union School District offers personalized education, with programs that develop students into happy kids, healthy relationships, on a path to gainful employment; making El Cajon the best place to live, work, play and raise a family. Visit the district at www.cajonvalley.net.
Beable is a women-owned public-benefit corporation launched by ed-tech visionary Saki Dodelson and the co-founders of Achieve3000®. With Beable, Dodelson and her team are pursuing an ambitious and essential mission: to enable lifelong success for all learners regardless of their starting points. Beable delivers on its charter by providing K-12's first Life-Ready Literacy System, a revolutionary, multi-dimensional system that intertwines social-emotional growth with literacy acceleration in core content areas, intervention response, career exposure and ACT/SAT prep. Powered by the proprietary BeableIQ engine, which combines data science, automation, artificial intelligence, flexibility across physical and virtual learning environments, and unlimited scalability, Beable is a system and an approach created especially for the educational challenges of 2020 and beyond. Learn more at http://www.beable.com