High Schools that Work

The oldest and largest of the Southern Regional Education Board’s initiatives for school improvement is its program “High Schools that Work”. (HSTW) This initiative was established in 1987, and today over 1200 schools in 32 states are using the framework to improve education on the high school level.

The 10 key practices of HSTW that impact student achievement are the following:
High Expectations – expect the best in class and give students continuous feedback
Program of Study – each student completes an academic core and concentration
Academic Study – college prep curriculum applied to real world problems and projects
Career/technical studies – access to these in high demand fields using math and science
Work based learning – Planned by educators, employers and students
Teachers working together – team teaching across disciplines to integrate curriculum
Students actively engaged – teachers must engage students using research based methods
Guidance – positive guidance &advisement, support accelerated study, full mentorship
Extra Help – Structures system of extra help to ensure completion of demanding study
Culture of continuous improvement – ongoing assessment and evaluation to improve school programs.

Summer courses are offered for teachers and school administrators, and member sites really benefit from the ongoing training, self examination, and networking with successful schools. The basic assumption of the initiative is that most students are capable of mastering rigorous academic and technical studies if the school environment created by teachers and professionals motivates and supports them.

The Southern Region Education Board also sponsors initiatives for middle school improvement, and urban school districts. For more information, go to www.sreb.org.

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