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Developing A Positive School Climate

What is meant by “school climate”, and how can you assess the climate at your school? Read on for helpful definitions, assessment ideas, tools, and resources.

Dropping Out is Hard to Do

Recent research shows that some high schools have much lower dropout rates than would be predicted based on the composition of their student bodies. Moreover, requiring students to work harder and complete a tougher academic curriculum might actually improve graduation rates rather than making them plummet, as so many educators fear.

Principal as Instructional Leader: Designing a Coaching Program That Fits

Research shows that effective school leaders focus on improving classroom instruction, not just managerial tasks. A natural way for school leaders to take on the role of instructional leader is to serve as a “chief” coach for teachers by designing and supporting strong classroom level instructional coaching. Here’s how to selecting a coaching approach that meets the particular needs of a school and how to implement and sustain the effort.

Putting Assessment in the Driver's Seat

Take the lead to improve literacy for all students at your school. Implement regular school-wide monitoring of assessment results and student progress.

Rethinking High School: Five Profiles of Innovative Models for Student Success

Only 68% of all students entering high school nationwide will earn their diploma. The news for students from historically underserved populations is even worse. These students have slightly more than a 50% chance of graduating from high school. To respond to this crisis, educators and policymakers are focused on developing small high schools which offer students a more personalized setting. But is the effort making a difference? In the absence of available long term data, WestEd examined five new, inner-city high schools across the country and discovered rigorous curricula, racially and socioeconomically diverse student bodies, academic access, engaged students, and supportive learning environments.

Rethinking Schools: An Introduction to New York City's Experience

Only half of New York City’s public school students complete high school in four years, one- third of all 9th graders fail, and fewer than 40% of students in large, low-performing schools graduate. To address student needs and thereby increase future student achievement, the district is working with nonprofit organizations and funders to support and develop small high schools. The preliminary results of these efforts are promising.

School Culture: The Hidden Curriculum

Walk into any truly excellent school and you can feel it almost immediately — a calm, orderly atmosphere that hums with an exciting, vibrant sense of purposefulness. This is a positive school culture, the kind that improves educational outcomes.

School Literacy Team Planning Guide

Teaching strong literacy skills to the diverse learners in a secondary school requires teamwork, professional development, planning and progress monitoring. Find out what key elements will put your team and students on the path to success.

School Profile: J.E.B. Stuart High School

Learn how teachers at this once low-performing school dramatically improved academic performance by focusing on student attendance and literacy.

Schools in Which All Kinds of Minds Can Grow

As we discover more about how students learn and how different minds learn differently, our schools have a golden opportunity to increase the percentage of their students who experience true academic success.