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.

HSTW’s annual Staff Development Conference attracts thousands of educators each year for professional development. HSTW publications, case studies, site development guides and other materials help improve high school curriculum and instruction across the nation. 

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.


State Leaders’ Forum
Annual Convening Targets Readiness and Attainment

November 30 – December 1, 2017
Atlanta Airport Marriott Hotel
State Accountability Systems That Value Both Cs in College and Career Readiness

SREB’s annual State Leaders’ Forum convenes teams of legislators, policymakers, state board members, secondary and postsecondary education leaders, and workforce development agency representatives to explore policies and practices that help more young adults graduate from high school with a head start on the postsecondary credentials and degrees the


Counseling for Careers and College
Awakening Students to Their Full Potential

When careers are the focus of school counseling, students connect postsecondary education with achieving their goals. SREB’s Counseling for Careers and College (C4CC) program shows counselors and teachers how to create curricula and experiences that awaken students to their potential.

Counselors and teachers collaborate with students and parents to develop personalized plans of study leading from high school to postsecondary education.


Project-Based Learning in Career Pathways
Training and Coaching for Career Pathway Educators

Project-based learning captures students’ interests and highlights connections between the classroom and their career and college goals. What’s more, in a project-based approach, teachers support students in taking ownership of their work instead of providing all the answers.

SREB’s Project-Based Learning in Career Pathways training helps teachers develop authentic, challenging projects that encourage students to think critically and apply academic, technical and workplace know-how to solve real-world problems.

Publication May 201717V10

What SREB Offers Schools

This brochure details SREB’s High Schools That Work school improvement frameworks designed to prepare students for college and careers. Inside you will find descriptions of the programs, professional development, curricula and technical support available for the elementary grades through community and technical colleges.



Senior-Year Redesign
Accelerating Postsecondary Attainment

The new High Schools That Work model redesigns the senior year of high school to give college-ready students a head start on a credential or degree and help struggling students enter postsecondary programs without the need for remediation.

Ready for College? The Accelerated Option

In the new HSTW model, college-ready seniors take high-quality dual enrollment courses that allow them to graduate with up to 30 credits toward an associate or bachelor’s degree.

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.

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.


Reports & Surveys

High Schools That Work, Making Middle Grades Work and Technology Centers That Work are data-driven, research-based school improvement initiatives. Using survey tools and reports, participating states, districts and schools can establish baseline data, identify areas for improvement and track progress over time. Schools receive comprehensive reports detailing school and classroom experiences.