How World-class Schools Deliver for All Students
World-class schools engage and challenge each and every student.
The school ensures instruction is strong every day, in every classroom, and that students are able to analyze and apply what they are learning in complex, real-world scenarios.
Personalized and robust student support
The school has a clear strategy to: adapt teaching to the varied needs of each student; check student progress daily; and within hours or days, provide additional support or challenge where needed. The school also provides an array of social-emotional supports to ensure that all students are able to fully engage in a rigorous academic program.
High-quality programs nurture a wide range of skills and interests, including arts, athletics and other interdisciplinary learning opportunities that supplement the school’s core academic model.
Staff understand and recognize students’ diverse cultural backgrounds as an asset, and help students do the same.
What to look for:
- Teachers have a strong command over what and how they teach their class and anticipate where students will likely struggle. They don’t water down what students need to learn. Instead, they design very challenging lessons and build in extra help along the way to ensure all students master the content.
- In a typical classroom, students are learning content and discussing and applying it in ways that seem advanced for that grade level. Observers may be surprised to see the quality of student work and level of conversation in classes compared to what they’d expect for students at that age.
- In virtually every classroom, observers will see teachers working with students in small groups to ensure they get help where the data shows they need it. Teachers can explain why they grouped those students, what they needed help with, and what data or observations led the teacher to make those groupings.
- During much of the day, students are applying the skills and content they’ve learned to take on real-world, multi-step problems and projects that require critical thinking.
- Students challenge and develop themselves in new ways as they participate in a variety of artistic, athletic and service-oriented classes.
- The school fosters a culture of pride and awareness around the diverse cultural backgrounds of its students. On most days, an observer would hear staff and students candidly discussing and grappling with issues of race, sexuality, socioeconomic status, institutionalized privilege or discrimination. Often, conversations with families address these topics as well.
See it in Action
Rod Kelley Elementary
This school in Gilroy didn’t used to be a strong performer. Then teachers changed their approach and focus, with impressive results..
Hurley is outpacing elementary schools across Massachusetts, the state with the highest test scores in the country, and has done so while teaching all students in two languages—Spanish and English.
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