High Schools That Work


High Schools That Work

High Schools That Work

High Schools That Work is the nation’s largest school improvement initiative for high school leaders and teachers. 

More than 1,200 HSTW sites in 30 states and the District of Columbia currently use the HSTW Goals and Key Practices to raise student achievement and graduation rates.

Hundreds of HSTW publications, case studies, site development guides and other materials help improve high school curriculum and instruction across the nation. Also, HSTW’s annual Staff Development Conference, which attracts nearly 4,000 educators each year, is a focal point for year-round professional development.

HSTW is nationally recognized for its effectiveness and has led to other SREB school improvement initiatives, including Making Middle Grades Work, which helps students make stronger academic transitions into high school, and Technology Centers That Work, which helps career and technical education centers improve student readiness for college and careers.

View the High Schools That Work Orientation presentation for more information about the school improvement framework.

Gene Bottoms, SREB senior vice president and founder and director of HSTW, recently participated in two national conversations about what it means to get more students college and career ready. To view these webinars, please click on the links below: 

Publication July 9, 2016 | 7 pages | (16V18)Gene Bottoms and Kirsten Sundell

Career Pathways
Accelerating Access to the Middle Class

More and more jobs require some education past high school, yet we are not preparing enough students for college, careers or both. Career pathways from middle and high school through college and into the workplace can accelerate access to the middle class.

Publication May 2016 | 12 pages | 16V12

Case Study Piedmont High School
Raising Rigor and Expectations

Piedmont High School is a high-achieving school with a 2015 graduation rate of 99 percent. This case study details how the school used the High Schools That Work design to put in place the building blocks to foster a culture of continuous improvement to ensure every student has the opportunity to succeed.

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Contract Services

Schools, districts and states desiring intensive assistance to improve schools can contract directly with SREB for support in implementing the HSTW, MMGW or TCTW designs. Click below for more information about contracting with SREB at the school, district or state level.


Assessments & Surveys

HSTW, MMGW and TCTW are data-driven, research-based school improvement initiatives. Using assessment and survey tools, participating states, districts and schools can establish baseline data, identify areas for improvement and track progress over time.

All HSTW, TCTW and MMGW schools participate in biennial student and teacher surveys. Schools receive comprehensive reports detailing school and classroom experiences.

The Annual Site Progress Reports for MMGW, TCTW and HSTW school sites should be completed by November 10, 2016.


Urban Initiatives

HSTW works closely with district and school leaders in urban districts to connect the HSTW improvement framework to the unique challenges that urban schools and districts face. Network members use the HSTW Key Practices to improve classroom instruction, staff development and student achievement in large, urban high schools and middle grades schools.