1. Develop rigorous, engaging learning experiences through an instructional design process that provides students with opportunities to master grade-level competencies to succeed in college and careers.
- Design literacy-based assignments in all subject fields to engage students in comprehending grade-level texts and demonstrate understanding of discipline content in well-written reports.
- Formulate a series of math assignments that advance students’ mathematical understanding and reasoning skills in solving both conceptual and applied problems.
- Share strategies and resources to spread and sustain improved literacy-based assignments in all classes and formative assessment assignments in math classrooms.
2. Establish a middle grades to postsecondary system of counseling for careers through awareness, exploration and preparation.
- Develop activities, courses and teacher advisement systems in the middle grades and early high school that allow students to explore a variety of career pathways.
- Use the system of counseling for careers to support high school students in selecting and completing a personalized career pathway program of study spanning high school and at least the first year of postsecondary study.
- Engage parents in the counseling for careers system and educate them about the rising requirements of the workplace and new and emerging career opportunities.
3. Develop administrators and teachers as lead learners who embrace and engage in a system of comprehensive school reform.
- Use HSTW/TCTW/MMGW survey data, classroom formative and summative assessments, and external data to inform decisions for school improvement.
- Create shared leadership to ensure new leaders and teachers are prepared to continue and sustain school improvement efforts.
- Support teacher leaders with professional development opportunities related to spreading proven practices, bringing on board new teachers, mentoring and providing professional learning communities.
4. Provide supports to ensure students have the foundational literacy and mathematical skills needed to transition from the middle grades to high school, high school to postsecondary studies and postsecondary studies to careers.
- Implement support systems to ensure students have the personal, literacy, mathematics and habits of mind and study skills to achieve grade-level standards.
- Identify at-risk middle grades and high school students and provide the extra learning time and quality support they need to reach grade-level standards that include time for teachers to plan blended learning assignments across academic and career pathway courses.
- Provide strategies to assist students to overcome obstacles and develop grit to instill a growth mindset.
5. Design career exploratory experiences in the middle grades that enable students and parents to design structured career pathway programs of study beginning in high school and including at least one year of postsecondary study and a sequential series of work-based learning opportunities.
- Design real-world, project-based assignments for the middle grades such as SREB’s STEM projects to enable students to determine their aptitude, abilities and interests to aid in both advancing their high school readiness and in making an informed choice of a high school program of study.
- Design quality career pathways that span high school and postsecondary studies to include college ready academics, technical, citizenship and workplace readiness skills.
- Involve employers and postsecondary leaders in designing authentic challenging real-world project-based assignments that require students to apply academic, technical and workplace readiness skills.
6. Create a culture of continuous improvement by implementing the Design Principles and Key Practices of High Schools That Work, Making Middle Grades Work, and Technology Centers That Work.
- Design and implement intellectually demanding career pathway programs of study, such as Advanced Career, that align with college- and career-readiness standards.
- Redesign the senior year to accelerate student attainment of postsecondary credentials and degrees so that students who meet college-readiness benchmarks are provided opportunities to earn up to 30 semester hours of college credit, and students not meeting the benchmarks are provided Readiness Courses, pathway courses and work-based learning opportunities to prepare them for an advanced credential or postsecondary degree.
- Organize challenged schools around students’ interests and aptitudes through pathways that align with opportunities in postsecondary studies and the workforce.
7. Meet the needs of diverse learners through proven strategies.
- Create a personalized learning environment whereby each student has consistent guidance and supports throughout the K-12 experience.
- Provide extended learning time and support services needed for students to graduate with the foundational literacy, mathematics, technical and workplace knowledge and skills necessary to achieve postsecondary and workplace success.
- Design flexible programs of study that allow students to earn a credible credential by the age 25.
8. Work with districts to transform challenged middle grades and high schools into high-performing schools.
- Conduct a comprehensive needs assessment to determine the conditions and proven practices needed to transform middle grades, high schools and technology centers into high-performing schools.
- Provide support to teachers and administrators using professional development that aligns with identified needs to help them become facilitators of student learning.
- Create a culture of continuous improvement with a focus on teaching and learning.