Curriculum & Instruction » Personalized Education Framework (PEF)

Personalized Education Framework (PEF)

Cherokee Central Schools' Personalized Education initiative is a broad project with many components.  While some components were new to CCS, other pieces were already in place when the initiative began.  It is important to understand how all the components fit together, producing future-ready graduates, and how this initiative supports the talent development and workforce goals of the tribe.

The Personalized Education Framework (PEF) is a graphic that offers a visual representation of the various components of the initiative and their relationship to students and to entities in the community.  The Framework is structured around a petroglyph motif from Judaculla Rock.  Covered in many such petroglyphs and with only a portion emerging from the ground, Judaculla Rock is where a giant leaped between this world and the spirit world.  Some of the designs are the hand prints he left behind when he jumped.  Lore also says that some of the designs are maps of this world and the spirit world. 


Like the small part of Judaculla Rock that is visible, often we only see one portion of our Personalized Education initiative at a time, making it difficult to see the bigger picture.  The framework, based on Judaculla Rock motifs, offer us a way of looking at the bigger picture, a map of sorts.


The Cherokee student is cradled in the palm of the hand, supported by each element, or finger, of the framework.  One element is the CCS vision which is that the school district will be a community where each student will graduate from high school, will be globally competitive for work and post-secondary education, will possess an appreciation for and an eagerness to preserve our nation, and will be prepared for life in the 21st century.  


The Sacred Path, another element, also supports and guides the student from PK through graduation.  Through Sacred Path, students are provided with opportunities to develop leadership and conflict resolution skills, while learning more about traditional Cherokee values and traditions.


The remaining four fingers, or elements, are focused on the academic programming of the Personalized Education initiative.  The initiative centers around curricula of ESTEAM - Entrepreneurship, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics.  Literacy underpins all other curricula. 


Technology is used as a resource, both in terms of a 1:1 student to device ratio and through the various digital resources available to students and teachers to support their literacy and ESTEAM work. 


Blended learning strategies are integrated through classrooms and courses to better prepare students for future work.  BLISS stands for Blended Learning Initiative Systems of Support and draws heavily from research and training formulated by North Carolina Department of Public Instruction's Multi-System of Support.  Through BLISS, each school can provide the support and resources that each student needs to be successful at each grade level.  


As Cherokee Central Schools continues its Personalized Education journey, it is important to understand how all the pieces fit together and where the journey leads.  The components that make up the Personalized Education initiative (e.g., Blended Learning strategies, ESTEAM curriculum, BLISS) support our students in their journey to be future-ready.  The Personalized Education initiative is supported by community partnerships such as the Qualla Education Collaborative (QEC), which also focuses supporting children from cradle to career in order to have a pipeline of talent for its workforce.