Stories from the Field

When the academy model was implemented in Metro Nashville Public Schools’ (MNPS) high schools about 10 years ago, the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce was actively involved in designing the academies and leading efforts to connect schools with businesses in a variety of career pathways. In the academy approach—with themes...
When Dr. Sonia Stewart, principal at Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School, came to Nashville from Chicago, she brought with her both the background knowledge and experience of working with community schools. So in addition to furthering the community schools strategy at Pearl-Cohn, she has helped Community Achieves (CA), the Metro...
Alice Ott Middle School built a reading program intended to bring struggling students to grade level and enrich the skills of those already on grade level. Gone was the large amount of time spent on sustained silent reading that had no purpose other than having students read material of their...
After students in the Water Investigations Academy program at Pendergast Elementary School District learn about different aspects of water in the classroom, they analyze it on a field trip to the Salt River and then take part in discussions with an expert on the subject. This magnet program for fourth-...
William Penn High School in New Castle, Delaware provides its students numerous choices of academic and technical programs within the school, including a STEM college, business college, and humanities college. Students select a course of study when they enter, then over the next four years gain the needed skills to...
The single most important factor for student learning is a great teacher, but recruiting and retaining great teachers has been a major challenge, especially for high-needs schools where teacher burnout and turnover is rampant. The Clark County Education Association (CCEA), however, seems to have discovered a solution to the problem...
First posted July 2013. We know a great deal about the high school dropout problem. From the research of Robert Balfanz and others, we know where dropouts are likely to come from – the majority attends a small subset of high schools where the graduation rate is 60% or lower....
This 1:1 school developed a hands-on learning model by building trust with students and the community, and powerful partnerships for student success. An inspiring turnaround story, RMMS has been a featured Digital Learning Day school, awarded grants from I3, Digital Promise, and Digital Innovation in Learning. School Profile 850 students...
You are a high school senior, living in poverty with a dream to go to college. You want it so badly that you can taste it. You are nervous about filling out your college applications because you don’t even know where to start. You feel paralyzed, questioning whether you did...
What happens when fifth graders are asked to design a kindergarten playground? The inspiration for a collaborative fifth grade project struck Nina Hernandez as she watched kindergarteners at play. Ms. Hernandez, the fifth grade-writing teacher at Manzanita Elementary School, in Catalina Foothills School District near Tucson, Ariz., noticed that some...