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Practices by Grade Level or Topic

Explore the National Blue Ribbon Schools’ library of videos, podcasts, and written descriptions that showcase stand-out practices and school features that contribute to awardees’ success. Choose practice topics under the key areas and/or select a grade level of interest to display these resources.

We urge you to contact these and other National Blue Ribbon Schools to learn what great American schools are doing.

Written profiles of schools visited before 2009 appear on the USDE website.

Grade Level

Curriculum and Instruction

Student Supports

School Supports

Challenge Center Challenge Center School, (Sioux Falls, SD). The Challenge Center offers an accelerated, enriched curriculum to high ability students in grades two through five. In English language arts, the school focuses on three writing genres: personal/fictional narratives, opinion, and informative. Each day, students have multiple opportunities to write. For example, students share their rough drafts, poems,… Continue Reading Developing Great Writers!

Murray ES Murray Elementary School, (Murray, KY). Murray Elementary School’s teachers, staff, and administrators believe the key to student success is building relationships with families. For incoming kindergarten families, Murray Elementary starts the relationship building with children and families in November the year before children enter kindergarten. Murray sponsors a Future Tiger Night, where families come to… Continue Reading Transitioning Children and Families into Kindergarten

Murray ES Lt. Col. Horrace Meek Hickam Elementary School, (Honolulu, HI). Hickam Elementary School is located on the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Honolulu, Hawaii. Approximately 99% of the student population are military dependents. Students are highly transient due to military mobility. One of the biggest challenges military children face is integration into new communities and schools.… Continue Reading Aloha Transition Center for New Military-Dependent Students

Hancock Public School Hancock Public School, (Hancock, MN). Hancock Public School is a K-12 Title I school in a small rural district located in west central Minnesota. Administration includes one principal, a part-time superintendent, and a part-time activities director. While all the small schools around the district have consolidated with other districts, the community takes great pride in… Continue Reading College and Career Readiness in a Small Rural School

Dayton Regional STEM School Dayton Regional STEM School, (Kettering, OH). Dayton Regional STEM School offers students two years of Chinese as their foreign language in 9th and 10th grades, with an option for college credit. After two years, students may opt to take one or two years of Spanish or continue with Chinese. The foreign languages instructional approach encompasses… Continue Reading Students in International Multilingual Communities

Bayfield ES Bayfield Elementary School, (Bayfield, WI). Bayfield Elementary School is located on the south shore of Lake Superior. Approximately, 80% of the student population are Anishinaabe (Native American).The school, working closely with the Red Cliff Tribe and the Red Cliff Indian Reservation, implements Ojibwe culture programming. Each grade level meets with a culture instructor once a… Continue Reading Integrating Native American Culture and Language

Communications HS Communications High School, (Wall, NJ). Communications High School (CHS) is a choice vocational career academy. Career concentrations include: Digital Video, Visual Communications, Journalism, Communications Technology, and TV/Radio production. CHS uses a theme-based curriculum that continually engages students in projects with real-world applications. The courses provide students opportunities to utilize the skills they have learned in… Continue Reading Preparing Students for TV and Radio Broadcasting Careers

Timothy Christian HS Timothy Christian High School, (Elmhurst, IL). Timothy Christian High School offers the Innovation and Design Lab (IDL) program, a sequence of four semester courses in which students apply design thinking to problem-solving. The first-semester course, IDL 1, teaches students the basics of design thinking while applying the use of various tools (e.g., 3D printers, laser… Continue Reading Innovation and Design Lab

Ladera Del Norte ES Ladera del Norte Elementary School, (Farmington, NM). Ladera del Norte Elementary School is a mirror of the community it serves. The school celebrates diversity with lessons in Native American, African American, and Hispanic American cultures. Fourth graders, who want to study traditional dances of New Mexico and Mexico, may participate in the Ladera Heritage Performers.… Continue Reading Walk in Time through Cultural Diversity

Westhampton ES Westhampton Elementary School, (Westhampton, MA). Westhampton Elementary approaches professional development (PD) as a four-tiered system rooted in the academic, social, and emotional needs of the students and school community. This tiered system begins at the district level where school administrators work closely with the district’s curriculum director to program professional development activities that benefit the… Continue Reading Tiered Professional Development

Hubert R. Hudson ES Hubert R. Hudson Elementary School, (Brownsville, TX). Hudson Elementary teaches students how to be productive and educationally-motivated citizens via the Hudsonville Micro-Community and Economy. The approach mirrors a a community within the school to create an academic learning experience for students. By leveraging dynamic partnerships with local businesses (e.g., bank and store), students in grades… Continue Reading Hudsonville Minitropolis

Westchester Elementary School Westchester Elementary School, (Kirkwood, MO). Westchester Elementary School realized that the three acres of wooded area behind the building .were over-grown with invasive plant species and very little wildlife. To address these issues, Westchester participated in the Missouri Green Schools Quest and partnered with the Missouri Department of Education to design and execute a BioBlitz.… Continue Reading Partnerships for Environmental Education

Eisenhower ES Eisenhower Elementary School, (Indiana, PA). Eisenhower Elementary School operates under a collaborative framework. The principal and staff work together to develop building initiatives and procedures. A collaborative project that Eisenhower staff is proud of is their Math Walk. A Math Walk is an event that provides students opportunities to experience mathematics in their community. Students… Continue Reading Math Walks in the Community

AF North MIddle High School AFNorth Middle/School, (Brunssum, Netherlands). AFNorth Middle High School, a Department of Defense Education Activity (6-12) school located in the Netherlands, serves students from over 18 different nations. The school shares facilities and logistical support with other independent schools from Canada, Germany, and England. Students at AFNorth MHS work side by side with students in the… Continue Reading International Student Leadership

Walnut Hill ES Walnut Hill Elementary School, (Dallas, TX). To better serve underrepresented English Language Learners, Walnut Hill Elementary is piloting a new Two-Way Dual Language for the Academically Gifted Program. This program provides learning experiences, so students develop a love of literacy, language, and culture. Walnut Hill also offers a pull-out gifted and talented (GT) program. The… Continue Reading Dual English Gifted and Talented Program

Adlai E. Stevenson High School Adlai E. Stevenson High School, (Lincolnshire, IL). Stevenson High School offers a variety of opportunities for meaningful parent engagement. Each fall, using a conversation framework, the school hosts family discussions about their child’s course selections for the following school year. In addition to weekly parent information through an interactive report card platform, counselors facilitate Student-Counselor-Parent… Continue Reading Actively Engaging Parents of High School Students

Lusher Charter School In New Orleans, Louisiana, Lusher Charter School serves students in grades K-12 by integrating the arts across all grade levels and disciplines. As the school’s CEO puts it, “Lusher is a school where a student can come and thrive regardless of the level of their talents. We’ll use the arts when we’re happy, when we’re… Continue Reading Building Culture and Enriching Learning through Art

Paramount School Teachers at Paramount School of Excellence (now called Paramount Brookside) in Indianapolis, Indiana enrich their lessons using a variety of on-site school features, including a planetarium, farm, and beehives. These unique features help students learn from the world around them. However, the key focus for educators at this K-8 charter school is on providing high-quality… Continue Reading Learning from the World Around Them

Lorenzo Walker Technical HS High school goes to college at Lorenzo Walker Technical High School, which shares a campus and a vision for success with its partner institution, Lorenzo Walker Technical College. Students travel from all over the county to attend Lorenzo Walker, where they take academically rigorous classes while also receiving professional training in 25 career programs. After… Continue Reading Bringing High School to College

Evergreen ES Turning around a low-performing school is no easy task – and sustaining that turnaround over the years to come can be just as challenging. In this video, teachers and school leaders from Evergreen Elementary School in Spanaway, Washington explain how the implementation of a “No Excuses” model helped them improve and sustain their success over… Continue Reading No Excuses: Sustaining Success at a Former Turnaround School

Alexander Ofili Principal Village Oaks Elementary School Novi, Michigan Building School Culture by Leading with HEART. One of the most challenging tasks for any new principal is creating school culture, particularly when a strong culture already exists. This podcast walks you through the process Principal Alexander Ofili used at Village Oaks Elementary School in Novi, MI, to do… Continue Reading Audio: Building School Culture by Leading with HEART

Elliott Southard Mount Lebanon Elementary School Pendleton, SC Learning Through Real World Application highlights how one school expanded on a STEM theme to create a teaching and learning culture matched to the way young students learn. When each of the four K-6th grade elementary schools in Anderson County School District 4 were tasked with creating a unique… Continue Reading Audio: Learning Through Real World Application

Athens Academy Athens Academy (Athens, GA). Athens Academy is an educational community where the students, the school, and the parents are partners. The school’s Parent Service Organization (PSO) works with administration to enhance the school’s quality of programs and academic life. Each of the four academy divisions have representatives on the PSO Executive Board. Over 100 parents… Continue Reading Schoolwide Parent Representation

St. Francis Xavier School Saint Francis Xavier School (Wilmette, IL). In 2013, Saint Frances Xavier developed its EPIC framework to promote students and teachers’ Exploration, Play, Invention, and Creativity. The EPIC themes provide scope and purpose so that faculty make connections between the school’s mission, curriculum, and the engagement of all students. The EPIC Studio, home to technologies and out-of-the-box… Continue Reading Exploration, Play, Invention, and Creativity Studio

Mountain Brook ES Mountain Brook Elementary School (Mountain Brook, AL). As a Lighthouse School, Mountain Brook Elementary has developed a well-rounded leadership model. Every student and teacher employ a leadership role, self-selects and tracks goals, and maintains a leadership portfolio highlighting personal accomplishments and academic achievements. Students promote the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People through leading by… Continue Reading Student-led Service Groups

Waterloo ES Waterloo Elementary School (Columbia, MD). Waterloo Elementary School’s social studies curriculum actively engages students by interacting with a variety of resources and demonstrating learnings through various performance-based assessments. The students explore a variety of social studies curriculum topics (e.g., Money Matters, Project Citizenship, Changing Communities, and Mapping Our World.) The culminating project occurs in 5th… Continue Reading Simulated Congressional Hearings

University of Hartford Magnet School University of Hartford Magnet School (West Hartford, CT). University of Hartford Magnet School (UHMS) implements coaching rounds at each grade level. A week prior to the coaching round, the grade level team examines class data to determine a focus area. Then the Coach researches best practices to address the identified need and shares the plan… Continue Reading Coaching Rounds

Hume Fogg Academic HS Hume-Fogg Academic High School (Nashville, TN). The Social Studies department of Hume-Fogg Academic (HFA) High School promotes literacy, communication, problem-solving, and the development of engaged citizens. All juniors must take Honors or AP United States History and all seniors take AP U.S. Government and AP Microeconomics. Additionally, students may select from electives (e.g., AP Comparative… Continue Reading Promoting High Schoolers Voting Registration

Proviso Math and Science Academy Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy (Forest Park, IL). The school’s administration believes in “Teacher Leadership in Exchange for Accountability.” A team of teachers worked with administration to develop a project to build teacher leadership capacity through three activities. The activities include: distributive leadership through the development of a School Leadership Team, introduction of grade level… Continue Reading Impact of Teacher Leadership Development

Steller Secondary School Steller Secondary School (Anchorage, AK). Steller Secondary School, a lottery-based magnet school (grades 7-12), emphasizes student responsibility to self and to the Steller community. Students, parents, and staff participate in the democratic process of setting school policy and procedures. Students play an integral role in planning school activities. Through the Passages Program and independent study… Continue Reading Passages: Student-Created Courses

Heckquaw ES Heck-Quaw Elementary School (Belgrade, MT). At Heck-Quaw Elementary, the school counseling curriculum consists of developmentally designed lessons for each grade level (K-4). The lessons focus students on achieving the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed for social/emotional development, academic success, and college and career readiness (American School Counselor Association, 2014 Mindsets & Behaviors for Student Success:… Continue Reading Successful Mindsets and Behaviors

Mast Way ES Mast Way Elementary School (Lee, NH). Mast Way’s exterior building has colorful mosaics created by students over the years. The mosaics include every color of the rainbow showcasing natural elements (e.g., butterflies, birds, trees, and flowers). Upon entering the building, the same whimsical student artistic expressions continue. Quickly, visitors will see crafted pieces of children’s… Continue Reading Showcasing Student Art Outside/Inside School

College Park ES College Park Elementary School (Greendale, WI). College Park Elementary values and encourages student leadership by inviting 4th and 5th grade students to serve on leadership teams. For example, the leadership teams of students review general behavior data, determine an area in need of improvement, and create a plan for improvement. In 2018, students focused on… Continue Reading Data-driven Student Leadership

Lincoln ES Lincoln Elementary School (Rexburg, ID). Lincoln Elementary emphasizes physical education, nutrition, and exercise/fitness of students every day. Every class participates in weekly P.E. where students build hand-eye coordination, concentration, body awareness, endurance, and strength. Through an initial grant from Fuel Up to Play 60, Lincoln implements a nutrition and fitness curriculum and activities. Within a… Continue Reading Staying Fit and Eating Healthy

Brighton HS Brighton High School (Rochester, NY). Over the past five years, Brighton High School’s graduation rates increased from 89% in 2013 to 96% in 2017. Graduation rates increased for African American students from 55% to 95%, for students in poverty from 78% to 97%, for students with special needs from 65% to 82%, and for Hispanic… Continue Reading Increasing Student Graduations

Cedar Lane ES Cedar Lane Elementary School (Middletown, DE). Cedar Lane implements lesson studies that include grade-level teachers collaborating to create a single lesson to be used team-wide. After the creation of a lesson, a full grade-level of teachers participate in a fish bowl lesson study. This includes one teacher using the lesson with her students while colleagues… Continue Reading Fish Bowl Lesson Development

Willow Creek ES Willow Creek Elementary School (Centennial, CO). To promote a positive school climate and growth mindsets, Willow Creek focuses on POWER which stands for Persistence, Optimism, We are Flexible, Empathy, and Resilience. The school designates 10-15 minutes daily as POWER Time for activities that teach students a growth mindset and appropriate school behaviors using a common… Continue Reading POWER Time and Videos

Heards Ferry ES Heards Ferry Elementary School (Sandy Springs, GA). Heards Ferry Elementary School integrates Fulton County Public Schools’ seven Principles of Personalized Learning. The first principle is “Choice and Voice” where students can express their learning styles and preferences as learners in a lesson. Second, students have more than one way or modality to learn the material… Continue Reading Integrating Principles of Personalized Learning

West Shore HS West Shore Junior/Senior High School (Melbourne, FL). To meet increasing college and career readiness requirements, West Shore offers students a Diploma of Distinction. To earn this diploma, a student must complete 28 credits (beyond state requirements); 25 hours of service learning each year; demonstrate leadership experience through clubs, sports, or activities; and receive at least… Continue Reading Diplomas of Distinction

Robotics at Chenango HS Chenango Forks High School (Binghamton, NY). Chenango Forks High School opened its new STEAM Academy in January 2018. The Academy offers individualized pathways that address students’ diverse career interests, learning styles, and schedule. The Academy partners with several colleges/universities to offer Advanced Placement and career opportunities, including Spanish for the Professions, Residential Construction, Early Childhood… Continue Reading Rural STEAM Work-Based Learning

Sierra School Sierra Expeditionary Learning School Truckee, CA In 2008, in a small town in northern California, a dozen or so parents of preschoolers started dreaming about a different kind of elementary school and chartered SELS—the Sierra Expeditionary Learning School, in Truckee, California in March 2010. This podcast features Kim Bradley, a founding parent and current board… Continue Reading An Expeditionary Learning School Takes Off in California’s Mountains

 Hearts and Minds features Pinewood Elementary School in Jenison, MI, a suburb of Grand Rapids, where teachers and staff found themselves dealing with extreme student behaviors that disrupted learning. When Principal Rachael Postle-Brown and her staff adopted a “Whole School” approach to supporting positive student behaviors, a host of benefits followed. The approach has… Continue Reading Hearts and Minds: Social-Emotional Learning Improves Content Learning

Photo of Pep Rally University Academy—Upper School University Academy—Upper School Kansas City, MO University Academy Upper School is a 9-12 high school located in Kansas City, Missouri and is on a mission to prepare students, not only for college admission, but also for college success. With a high school graduation rate of 100%, this mission-focused public charter high school located in an… Continue Reading Audio: College Readiness Through Mastery Learning and Teaching

Photo of Skyland Elementary School – Greer, SC  Teaching with Art and Heart highlights the resources a dedicated principal has secured for the 700-plus students in her rural South Carolina school, Skyland Elementary. For more than two decades, Dr. Carolyn Styles has created a thriving community of passionate educators and young scholars. In addition to identifying and remediating students’ educational gaps and… Continue Reading Teaching with Art and Heart: A Rural School Reaches the Whole Child

PS 748  Still Making the Grade showcases the Brooklyn (NY) School for Global Scholars, P.S. 748. Originally designed as a district-based application school for gifted and talented students, P.S. 748 featured a self-created and evolving curriculum that used project-based learning and departmentalized, interdisciplinary learning to prepare global citizens for the future. It opened in 2010. Two… Continue Reading Still Making the Grade: From a G and T District School to a Top Neighborhood School

White Street School in Springfield, MA Game Changer tells the story of struggling White Street School in Springfield, MA, where “demographics” had been the steady explanation for low student achievement. Families were reluctant to send their children to a school were only 4% of fifth graders scored Proficient in any subject. In 2010, the State Education Department had singled the school… Continue Reading Game Changer: Educators Turn Around a “Failing” School

Photo of Massapequa High School Massapequa High School (Massapequa, NY). Massapequa High School encourages staff members to learn from one another. For instance, currently the teachers participate in a “Pineapple Chart” process where they open-up their classrooms, announce lesson subjects via a posting board, and welcome colleagues to visit. These activities impact students as they witness staff professional growth efforts,… Continue Reading Visitation Posting Board and a TLC

Photo of Fishing Cove Elementary School Fishing Cove Elementary School (North Kingstown, RI). At Fishing Cove, professional development addresses student behavior, both inside and outside of school. Two years ago, the school dedicated a large amount of professional development funds to train every teacher, teacher assistant, and all specialist educators in Open Circle. This training increased the school’s capacity to support… Continue Reading Addressing Student Behavior

Photot of Grove Valley Elementary Grove Valley Elementary (Edmond, OK). As the lowest in General Fund funding of any school district in Oklahoma, Grove Valley must be very creative and purposeful when it comes to professional development. Each week, the faculty meets for Late Start Wednesday – a district-designated one-hour time slot. During this time, teachers participate in Professional Learning… Continue Reading Low Budget Solutions

Photo of Riverwatch Middle School Riverwatch Middle School (Suwanee, GA). Each school year, the Riverwatch Professional Development Plan supports goals outlined by the School Improvement Plan. The goals are based on a variety of data points, including standardized test scores, College and Career Readiness Performance Index (CCRPI) ratings, Student Health Surveys, and Teacher Keys Effectiveness System (TKES) ratings. From this… Continue Reading Planning Based on Data Points

Photo of Don Roberts Elementary School Don Roberts Elementary School (Little Rock, AR). The Don Roberts Elementary School is home to an award winning Environmental and Spatial Technology (E.A.S.T.) Lab. The EAST Lab provides professional-grade technology for students to learn to solve problems creatively in their communities. Students have access to state-of-the-art software and equipment: drones, geospatial technology, 3D printers, graphics… Continue Reading EAST Lab Produces 3D Yearbook

Photo of Leon Sheffield Magnet Elementary School Leon Sheffield Magnet Elementary School (Decatur, AL). At Leon Sheffield Magnet Elementary School, students not only have access to STEM in their classes, but each class visits the STEM lab weekly for forty-five minutes. In the STEM lab, students commonly work in teams to apply their knowledge by solving problems or conducting experiments. For example,… Continue Reading The Value of STEM

Photo of AcadeMir Charter School West AcadeMir Charter School West (Miami, FL). The mission of AcadeMir Charter School is to provide a challenging academic curriculum that includes an enriched STEM project-based learning program for students in grades K-5. AcadeMir extended the school day by 30 minutes so that students receive 60 minutes daily of mathematics instruction, 30 minutes daily of STEM… Continue Reading Prioritizing Time for STEM

Photo of Alliance Dr. Olga Mohan High School Students Alliance Dr. Olga Mohan High School (ADOMHS) (Los Angeles, CA). ADOMHS has prioritized its partnership with parents by appointing a Parent Engagement Specialist to interact with and encourage parent participation on campus. The Parent Engagement Specialist hosts community events (such as the monthly Town Hall Meetings) and encourages parents to volunteer at school and attend… Continue Reading Parent Specialist, Monthly Town Hall Meetings

Photo of Classical High School Classical High School (Providence, RI). Teachers at Classical share a professional growth goal focused on increasing parent engagement. Every teacher sets specific, measurable, attainable, reasonable, and time bound goals to improve engagement with families. The faculty utilizes many best practice suggestions, such as establishing set office hours, providing a course syllabus, and maintaining consistent communication.… Continue Reading Teacher Priority, Technology

Maxine L. Silva Health Magnet High School (El Paso, TX). To emphasize the importance placed on family and community engagement, the campus provides funding for a part-time Parental Engagement Leader (PEL) position. The PEL designs programs that encourage parental and community involvement. Specific activities include: creating informational newsletters, conducting or scheduling parent meetings, coordinating volunteer… Continue Reading Parental Engagement Leader

Photo of Nolley Elementary School, Akron, OH Nolley Elementary School (Akron, OH). “I can see the leader in you!” is one of Nolley Elementary’s slogans to promote student leadership. Nolley’s school culture revolves around the Leader in Me program and the concepts and terminology of the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Nolley displays student work exhibiting these habits, with inspiring quotes, and… Continue Reading Leadership Goals Recognized

Photo of Chesterfield Elementary School, Chesterfield, MO Chesterfield Elementary School (Chesterfield, MO). Chesterfield Elementary School uses the Leader in Me process to develop each student into a leader of his/her own learning. They encourage each student to identify their strengths and interests and become a leader. Students develop academic and behavior goals and then monitor their progress using a goal binder. Chesterfield’s Leader… Continue Reading Nine Leadership Traits

Photo of (SPCHS) St. Petersburg Collegiate High School (SPCHS) (St. Petersburg, FL). SPCHS Leadership Program helps students develop leadership skills and gain important career and life skills (e.g., interviewing skills, ethical leadership). The leadership philosophy focuses on service, collaboration, and continual improvement. The program starts in the sophomore year and builds students’ foundational leadership skills. Juniors and seniors may… Continue Reading Building Skills Grade by Grade

Photo of Toll Gate Elementary School, Pickerington, OH Toll Gate Elementary School (Pickerington, OH). Toll Gate Elementary promotes and recognizes each student as a leader. The school’s Eight Great Traits includes the Seven Habits of Happy Kids and an eighth habit – find your voice and inspire others to find theirs. Students who demonstrate one or more of these traits daily receive leadership badges.… Continue Reading Teams Have a Voice

Photo of Western Center Academy (WCA), Hemet, CA Western Center Academy (WCA) (Hemet, CA). Given its location, WCA’s central goal is to integrate a “museum discovery” based approach with formal educational methods. The school is located on the site of the Western Science Center that has a large collection of Native American artifacts and Ice Age fossils. The Museum Discovery approach includes experiential,… Continue Reading Museum Discovery Approach

Photo of Paddock Road Elementary School, Omaha, NE Paddock Road Elementary School (Omaha, NE). Paddock Road Elementary emphasizes personalized learning for all students. To increase student engagement and learning, the school focuses on getting to know students’ strengths, interests, skills, and abilities. Using that information, the school creates a variety of classroom, schoolwide, and after-school opportunities for student voice and choice. In the… Continue Reading Personalized Learning Opportunities

Photo of Hastings High School, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY Hastings High School (Hastings-on-Hudson, NY). Hastings High School is committed to keeping the curriculum engaging and relevant for all its students. It offers rigorous academic courses as well as non-traditional electives. Hastings encourages teachers to develop half-year non-traditional electives focused on student and faculty interests while aligned with the state standards. These electives address a… Continue Reading Engaging and Relevant Courses

Photo of Harbor Teacher Preparation Academy (HTPA) Harbor Teacher Preparation Academy (Wilmington, CA). Challenge Los Angeles is a 7-week competition in which students from LAUSD high schools select an issue and develop solutions to complex problems facing their communities. HTPA students formed Harbor 4 Hunger, focusing on promoting healthy eating habits and free food resources. Students connect food donors with local charities running… Continue Reading Tackling Community Needs

Doral Academy of Technology – Doral, FL Doral Academy of Technology (Doral, FL). The seventh grade civics curriculum develops a student’s understanding of the foundations of our constitutional democracy and the fundamental principles and values upon which they were founded. Students participate in a Civic Political Fair, taking surveys to determine political scale awareness. DAT offers elective courses in law studies. Students learn… Continue Reading Mandatory and Elective Courses

Photo of John P. Woods Elementary School – Fort Smith, AR John P. Woods Elementary School (Fort Smith, AR). Woods Elementary holds yearly student council officer elections. Students prepare campaign materials and present speeches before the student body votes using computer kiosks. After officers are elected, students in each class run for representatives, creating marketing materials and giving speeches. Throughout the year, the student council participates in… Continue Reading Democratic Elections and Responsibilities

The Cranbury School student photo About 12 years ago, following a careful analysis, The Cranbury School (Cranbury, NJ), began “The Math Shuffle.” Taking advantage of its K-8 structure, Cranbury leaders revamped the schedule so that every morning, middle school math teachers “push in” to math instruction classes in grades 3-5. During the Shuffle, students, and sometimes teachers, move around to… Continue Reading Innovating Math Instruction

Green Valley Ranch Students The DSST (Denver School of Science and Technology) network, part of Denver Public Schools, was founded in 2005 to expand educational opportunities through open enrollment in STEM-focused schools. Green Valley Ranch High School opened in 2011 and has seen 100% of its seniors graduate and go on to college. Green Valley Ranch High School operates… Continue Reading New Faces in STEM Careers

alan shepard students About five years ago, the community of Deerfield, Illinois, came together to anticipate the educational needs of future generations. Alan Shepard Middle School has led the way. First converting the junior high school to the more student-centered middle school model, leaders at Shepard then expanded students’ encore options (as distinct from core—math, ELA, science, and… Continue Reading High Tech Makes Learning Personal

elgin benefits of NBRS award flags photo National Blue Ribbon School recognition propelled Elgin Middle School into the news–for all the right reasons. Read the transcript of Benefits of the Blue Ribbon Award. Read Elgin Middle School’s National Blue Ribbon Schools application. Contact Information Current Principal: Chris Garner Former Principal: Sammy Jackson (2003-2011) Elgin Middle School Highway 17 and Mighty Owl Avenue Elgin, OK… Continue Reading Putting Schools on the Map: Benefits of the Blue Ribbon Award: Elgin Middle School

john wash powered by data photo  The success of John Wash derives, in part, from grade-level Professional Learning Communities that use assessment results to guide instruction and intervention. Essential standards are assessed through summative, district-wide, and grade-level assessments administered three times a year as well as weekly, formative grade-level assessments created by each PLC. Teams share accountability for all students’ success… Continue Reading Professional Learning Communities Powered by Data: John S. Wash Elementary School

Middle Academy students collaborate to analyze texts. Nikki Bowen and Meredith Anderson, the principals of Uncommon Schools Excellence Girls Charter School (Brooklyn, NY), are committed to changing history. Anderson, the middle school principal explains, “We know that all students can be successful, and that, in particular, girls can achieve.” In a nation that hasn’t traditionally held high expectations for girls, especially girls… Continue Reading Interview: Creating Tomorrow’s Fierce Females

Deer Park ES Deer Park Environmental Science Magnet Elementary School (Newport News, VA) seeks to develop engaged students who bring their learning to life through caring for the environment. Immersing students in critical STEM explorations both on campus and off, Deer Park is home to more than 50 animal habitats. Each classroom hosts at least one habitat, teaching… Continue Reading Field Experiences Spark Students’ Passion for Science

Liberty Corner School Liberty Corner School (Liberty Corner, NJ). Trained parent volunteers, Literacy United Volunteers (LUV), help our Kindergartners navigate the initial stages of literacy. Volunteers are trained by our Reading Specialists in the Reading and Writing Workshop formats and in supporting at‐risk students to improve comprehension, word recognition, decoding and encoding, fluency, and apply reading strategies using… Continue Reading Trained Literacy Volunteers, Videotaped Academies

Martin Petitjean Elementary School (Rayne, LA). Martin Petitjean Elementary (MPE) engages parents in three key ways. First, all homeroom teachers make home visits to meet their new students in August prior to school opening. This allows teachers to see firsthand where each student lives and sends the message to parents that the MPE teachers care enough… Continue Reading Home Visits, Class Assemblies, Student-Led Conferences

The School for the Creative and Performing Arts at Bluegrass (SCAPA at Bluegrass) The School for the Creative and Performing Arts at Bluegrass (SCAPA at Bluegrass) (Lexington, KY). Administration and school staff welcome and actively seek parent relationships. SCAPA has an active School Based Decision Making Council (SBDM) that opens leadership and committee positions for parents and teachers to make positive contributions to our school, such as decisions regarding school… Continue Reading Decision-Making, Arts Production Assistance

KIPP STRIVE Academy KIPP STRIVE Academy (Atlanta, GA). Parents and guardians at KIPP STRIVE Academy are held to high expectations. They are expected to check their child’s homework each night and attend parent meetings and conferences. Parents are also invited to attend academic workshops and contribute to the school by volunteering their time when possible. To further increase parent… Continue Reading Workshops, Communications, Content Nights

Center City PCS Congress Heights Campus Center City PCS Congress Heights Campus (Washington, DC). Center City is committed to professional development of its staff and leaders. We provide extensive professional development opportunities, including workshops, professional learning communities, and coaching to improve the quality of instruction. Center City PCS Pre-Service August 10 – 28: Four days of these three weeks were district-wide dates… Continue Reading A Palette of PD Offerings

Chapel Hill Elementary School Chapel Hill Elementary School (Gladstone, MO). The development of lifelong learners at Chapel Hill applies not only to our students but also to our staff. Teachers participate in district-provided monthly PD modules to refine instruction and ensure fidelity to district expectations. The building Teaching and Learning Coach (TLC) presents these modules, giving teachers opportunities to collaborate… Continue Reading Teachers College

Williams Yates Elementary School Williams Yates Elementary School (Independence, MO). The district strongly believes that instruction and learning are improved through participation in high-quality PD. District curriculum and instruction team members tasked with designing and implementing professional-learning activities cull available best practices research to identify evidence-based, manageable, and practical programming applicable to most educational settings (Pathways; Reading, Writing, and Math… Continue Reading Sustained, Connected PD

Ar-We-Va Junior-Senior High School Ar-We-Va Junior-Senior High School (Westside, IA). Our approach to professional development is aligned to the Iowa CORE standards and benchmarks and the Iowa CORE Characteristics of Effective Instruction and is based on the Iowa Professional Development Model (IPDM). The IPDM framework includes peer collaboration, researched-based instructional practices, modeling, observation, and personal accountability. The goal of… Continue Reading Authentic Intellectual Work

Helemano Elementary School Helemano Elementary School (Wahiawa, HI). Highly trained medical professionals treat patients in intensive care units. Likewise, Title I schools require highly-trained teachers to effectively meet the needs of their students. As a Title I school, our professional development must be fine-tuned to meet our students’ needs. Professional development at Helemano Elementary is designed to develop capacity… Continue Reading Ongoing PD; Special PD for New Teachers

Pickering Valley Elementary School Pickering Valley Elementary School (Chester Springs PA). At Pickering Valley, teachers not only motivate students to learn, but are themselves committed to lifelong learning. Each teacher strives to grow personally and to assist colleagues in their academic endeavors. To that end, professional development is offered at both the district and building level to encourage effective,… Continue Reading A Tiered Approach

Central Academy of Technology and Arts Central Academy of Technology and Arts (Monroe, NC). Central Academy of Technology and Arts strives to develop students emotionally and socially. As a school we develop our students through intensive involvement in co-curricular and extra-curricular activities, advisory periods, and Culture of Respect, our character development program. Our Advisory program, a school-based initiative, engages teachers in… Continue Reading Teachers Mentor Students through High School

Miles Elementary School Miles Elementary School (Miles, TX). One school-wide strategy is the implementation of morning yoga. Students are led through a pose daily; each has a purpose (to develop self-awareness, slow down, manage emotions, etc.). Research shows that anxious or stressed children find it impossible to learn. Daily yoga helps create a calm child who is ready… Continue Reading Yoga and Other Calming Tactics

Hillside Academy For Excellence School Hillside Academy For Excellence School (Garland, TX). While Hillside is one Eagle family, the family is divided into four “houses.” All students and staff/faculty are members of a specific house. Individuals receive house points for academic performance, acts of responsibility, acts of kindness, and volunteerism. Houses earn parties based of the number of points earned,… Continue Reading A House System

Challenger Intermediate School Challenger Intermediate School (Goddard, KS). Each month we concentrate on a different core character trait. Our teachers work with students on the identified trait throughout the month. Our counselor generates content and lessons, and staff regularly teach the content. At the end of the year, we celebrate our students’ success with character trait awards. All awards… Continue Reading Core Character Traits

Challenger Intermediate School Lucy Franklin Elementary School (Blue Springs, MO). LFE staff fully appreciate that the quality and character of school life is based on patterns of stakeholders’ experiences and reflects norms, goals, values, interpersonal relationships, teaching and learning practices, and organizational structures. Specific topics have been addressed to affect LFE climate and culture, including health, wellness, and personal… Continue Reading A Proactive Prevention Framework

Alief Early College High School Alief Early College High School (Houston, TX). Tutorials are provided by all teachers every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday after school. A very specific tutorial program called Tier has been created for freshmen to ease the often difficult transition from a regular middle school to an early college high school. Through Tier, all students are assigned to… Continue Reading Targeted Tutorials

Center City PCS Congress Heights Campus Center City PCS Congress Heights Campus (Washington, DC). Based on the success of the students who attended Saturday Academy, we evaluate data to re-calibrate and determine additional students who should be added to this group. The program caters to our high proficient and advanced students and runs from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. In reading,… Continue Reading Saturday Academy

Merrymount School Merrymount School (Quincy, MA). Several dedicated teachers have created an after-school program designed to allow students in grades 4 and 5 the opportunity to participate in annual productions of plays by William Shakespeare. Through the rehearsal period and performances of plays such as “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Julius Caesar,” and “Romeo and Juliet,” students learn… Continue Reading Shakespeare After School

Kennedy Junior High School Kennedy Junior High School (Lisle, IL). Any student entering our school as a sixth grader who is not at grade level in math is invited to a summer ‘Math Camp’ in which they learn to use tools for problem solving and review important concepts to be ready for the middle school curriculum. These camps are taught… Continue Reading 200 Additional Minutes of Weekly Support

Haldane High School Haldane High School (Cold Spring, NY). One of the most targeted approaches to student success at Haldane High School is the implementation of Math Labs. Designed to strengthen math instruction, Math Labs offer students the opportunity to build an extra half period of math into their schedules for more concentrated math learning. Additionally, a critical component… Continue Reading H.E.A.R.T.

students at york suburban hs York Suburban Senior High School (York, PA). Beyond the classroom, the Trojan Learning Center was developed to provide supplemental assistance with day-to-day coursework, along with more intensive assistance. The center is led by a full-time staff member who assists students with content and organizational skills while also providing academic monitoring. The students are further supported by… Continue Reading Afterschool Program Keeps Students On Track

Barrington High School Barrington High School (Barrington, RI). The Allied Arts department includes courses in Business Education, Engineering and Technology, and Family and Consumer Sciences. The current departmental goal is to develop career paths that integrate validated learning across disciplines in an effort to meet student needs. National and state standards anchor the curriculum and courses are developed through… Continue Reading Allied Arts

Haldane High School Haldane High School (Cold Spring, NY). Haldane offers seniors the option for structured internships with local organizations and businesses. Meeting criteria set by the administration, these internships enable students to gain hands-on experience in the professional world and instills a strong work ethic and responsibility. A related program for freshmen is Pathways to Success, a weekly… Continue Reading Structured Internships

New Mexico School for The Arts New Mexico School for The Arts (Santa Fe, NM). NMSA’s dual-credit agreements enable students to take courses for free at Santa Fe Community College and other four-year colleges in the state. Mastery arts training at NMSA are not “arts enrichment” programs, but full pre-professional, skill-building arts curricula. It is the only public, arts-focused high school in… Continue Reading Arts Mastery

Hereford High School Hereford High School (Parkton, MD). The Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program identifies and supports students in the “academic middle” as they enroll in AP classes and seek admission to competitive, four-year colleges and universities. AVID students receive mentoring from AVID upperclassmen, college tutors, and their guidance counselor. Trained AP instructors advance students’ skills in using… Continue Reading Science and Agriscience

The Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology GSMST The Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology [GSMST] (Lawrenceville, GA). GSMST’s signature educational practice is our required 4-year internship experience. In the ninth grade, students attend quarterly Speaker Series events where they participate in the most rigorous and informative career day possible. We bring 20-30 working professionals each nine weeks from our partner organizations to… Continue Reading 4-Year Internships

School of Health Professions School of Health Professions (Dallas, TX). The campus has positioned itself to create a college going culture by offering only Pre-AP and AP options in the majority of its core courses and enrolling students who meet entry requirements into dual credit courses. Implementing these practices helps the campus maintain a rigorous curriculum and its status as… Continue Reading Majority Pre-AP and AP Coursework

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