National Blue Ribbon Schools-A Closer Look
The NBRS program collects statistics on recognized schools, tracking the numbers of elementary, middle, high, and K – 12 schools, public and non-public, as well as by geographic locale (public) and affiliation (non-public). This year all 330 application responses to what practice makes the school a success (Question VII) were studied to find commonalities and broad themes among the 2016 schools.
The infographic illustrates the key statistics and captures four key drivers of National Blue Ribbon School success identified through the analysis of Question VII responses. Nearly two thirds (65%) of the responses named either Student Supports (34%) or Instruction (31%), while 23% named school structure and 12% identified curriculum. The infographic provides snapshots of example practices and schools in each key driver. Links to the NBRS website provide a closer look at each example school.
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WHOLE CHILD EDUCATION
Social Emotional Learning instruction provides students, families, and staff with dedicated time focused on empathy, compassion, and creating a positive environment.
High standards and expectations are never put forth without a plan to support and encourage students. Teachers talk about growth as much as achievement.
Promoting positive citizenship and school climate are reinforced by using a kindness “Bucket Filling” strategy.
A growth mindset framework encourages teachers to model resilience, showing students that through perseverance, mastery of learning will occur.
Deliberate teaching of social and emotional skills and values during daily Morning Meeting strengthens student-teacher connections individually, culturally, and developmentally.
In Ninth Grade Academy freshmen learn how problem-solving, perseverance, endurance, and collaboration apply to their academic classes as well as their art studies.
Creating, implementing, and analyzing Focal Student Plans in reading allows teachers to identify proficiency levels and develop instruction and intervention plans.
Students have daily access to Academic Support Centers that utilize a peer tutoring model.
Applying an 8-step cycle for using data drives building-centered goals, grade level goals, small-group goals, and individual student goals.
Teachers and parent volunteers help students lacking strong family support complete assignments.
Analyzing data at the classroom and grade level allows teachers to reflect on their own teaching, resulting in more effective instruction.
Daily “Roadrunner” time involves students in differentiated instructional groups for remediation or enrichment.
STRONG LEADERSHIP/ EFFECTIVE TEACHERS
Facilitating consensus-based management, the campus is interconnected through team committees and utilizes proposals and simple voting to ensure ownership, accountability and buy-in across stakeholders.
A 9-year turnaround has changed the school philosophy, vision, personnel, curriculum, instruction, student expectations, technology, parent involvement, and the facility.
Constant collegial communication provides faculty the opportunity to improve instructional practices and the flexibility to introduce new, creative, and exciting programs.
The application process for new teachers includes an interview to determine if they will love a child enough to invest their time and talents to make a difference and inspire a student to reach their potential.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS
COLLEGE AND CAREER READINESS
A writing program’s emphasis on integrating text-based evidence into informational and argumentative writing assignments has improved students’ ability to read, comprehend, and write about complex texts across all core subjects.
Although small, the school’s partnerships with local universities and community colleges have enabled it to enhance the curriculum and offer post-secondary credit.
Students performance in ELA has improved due to a signature Vocabulary Acquisition Program that includes vocabulary blocks, activities, and weekly/monthly assessments.
A required 4-year internship experience includes a rigorous career day, a job readiness workshop, semester and yearlong internships, and student presentations.