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 October 2016 | 2 pages

Senior-Year Redesign
HSTW Senior-Year Redesign: Launching pad to advanced credentials and degrees

This is an overview the HSTW redesigned senior-year, which allows eligible students to complete graduation requirements while taking college-level courses at the high school or on a college campus. Students may graduate with up to two semesters of credit (or 30 hours) toward an associate or bachelor’s degree or an advanced industry credential.

Download PDF

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.


General information

Project-Based Learning
In Career Pathway Courses

SREB’s Project-Based Learning in Career Pathways training helps schools develop authentic and rigorous projects that provide students opportunities to master technical and academic standards for college and careers.

SREB provides training and coaching for academic and career and technical education teachers as they collaborate on better assignments and assessments.


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.