Curriculum and School Improvement


Model District: Jefferson County

The Jefferson County School District in Birmingham is working with SREB to implement full-scale reform strategies across the district’s middle and high schools to get students ready for college and careers:

  • Literacy Design and Math Design training and coaching
  • Career academies that guide students through a rigorous academic core with advanced CTE courses such as Advanced Career
  • Training and coaching for principals and other school leaders
  • Support for career counseling
  • Readiness Courses to be sure middle grades students are ready for high school and high school seniors are ready for college
Stories about SREB and JefCo >

SREB honored Jefferson County Schools with the Outstanding LDC-MDC District Award in July 2016. Fultondale Elementary in Jefferson County won the Outstanding LDC-MDC School Award for elementary grades.

Advanced Career

A new approach to career and technical education that combines college-readiness academics with hands-on, project-based assignments focused on modern careers. Advanced Career helps prepare students for as many options as possible after high school: a high-value job, college, community college or technical school. 

Alabama was the lead state working with SREB to develop the AC aerospace engineering pathway.

Alabama participation in AC programs, 2016-17:

  • Aerospace Engineering: 2 schools
  • Energy and Power: 3 schools
  • Health Informatics: 1 school
  • Informatics: 1 school
  • Teachers trained: 7 >

Readiness Courses:
Math Ready and Literacy Ready

Courses specifically designed to help underprepared students succeed in the next phase of education. 

Ready for college

Courses to teach young adults the reading, writing and math skills they must have to succeed in college. Taught in an engaging way that leads students to learn and think independently, read for information and solve problems.

The Alabama Department of Education and the Alabama Community College System are collaborating to pair local community colleges with high schools and ensure a smooth transition to college for students who take the courses. 

Summer 2017 training is scheduled with 66 teachers in 31 schools in Alabama. In summer 2016, 68 Alabama teachers from 26 schools participated in training for the courses.

Ready for high school

New courses for the transition from middle grades to high school. Underprepared students take the classes in eighth or ninth grade.

Alabama is one of 10 states that have participated in developing, field testing, training or piloting Ready for High School Literacy or Ready for High School Math

In 2015-16, 21 Alabama teachers from 10 schools participated in training for the courses. >

High Schools That Work

The nation’s largest school improvement program. HSTW strategies transform high schools into places where all students master complex academic and technical concepts. More than 1,150 schools in 30 states use the framework and its six design features and nine key practices to raise student achievement and graduation rates.

HSTW State Network

Member states select schools to receive services. The fee for state membership in the consortium covers several services and visits.

Alabama is a member of the High Schools That Work state network.

HSTW Board Member: Philip Cleveland, Director of Career and Technical Education, Alabama Department of Education

HSTW State Coordinator: Craig Collins, Career and Technical Student Organization Coordinator, Alabama Department of Education

Contracts for Direct Support

Schools, districts and states contract with SREB for targeted school improvement services, such as onsite coaching, technical assistance and professional development. 

50 Alabama schools contracted for direct services in 2015-16. 
SREB delivered 342 days of onsite coaching and 123 days of onsite staff development at the schools.


Minor Middle School in Adamsville and Pike County High School (grades 7-12) in Brundidge won Outstanding Making Middle Grades Work Site awards in July 2017. >

Making Middle Grades Work

Engages state, district and school leaders in partnerships with teachers, students, parents and the community to raise student achievement in the middle grades. In addition to workshops and school visits, SREB links schools to the professional development resources they need. The network includes over 650 schools in 20 states.

In Alabama, in 2015-16:

  • 60 schools were active in the network.
  • 25 schools contracted with SREB for direct services.
  • 95 days of onsite coaching and 35 days of onsite staff development were delivered to schools. >

Technology Centers That Work

Helps shared-time centers produce high-demand, high-wage graduates. SREB provides staff development, technical assistance, publications and assessment services. The network includes almost 200 sites in 18 states.

Active centers in Alabama in 2015-16: 20 >

Counseling for Careers

Awakens students to career goals and connects them to the high school and postsecondary programs of study to succeed in them. SREB offers workshops, materials and coaching for districts, schools and technology centers, which then involve teachers, counselors, administrators, parents and community partners.

Five Alabama districts, middle schools or high schools participate in Counseling for Careers professional development and coaching.