Success Stories

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

Literacy-Rich Instruction Gets Results in Two Kentucky School Systems

When you think about it, LDC (Literacy Design Collaborative) and MDC (Mathematics Design Collaborative) are just good instruction, according to Bryant Gillis, principal of Tichenor Middle School (TMS) in Erlanger, Kentucky. To make that good instruction pervasive across content areas and grade levels, TMS partnered with the Southern Regional Education Board and the Kentucky Department of Education to make building literacy-rich instruction an essential part of the school culture. 


More Than 20 Years as a High Schools That Work Site

William Byrd High School (WBHS) in Vinton, Virginia, is a dynamic place for learning and preparing students for college and careers. General track courses have been eliminated. Hundreds of students take Algebra II even though it’s not a state requirement. Students participate in cooperative education. Parents are deeply engaged in helping students select programs of study. Ninety percent of students graduate on time, and 83 percent go on to postsecondary study.

Publication Gene BottomsDecember 201554 pages(14V10-R15)

Students Step Up When Teachers and Leaders Transform Classrooms
Literacy Design Collaborative and Mathematics Design Collaborative

This publication describes how schools and teachers are using literacy and math strategies to engage students and prepare them for college and careers. Teachers and school leaders give first-hand accounts of their classroom experiences and share data on student achievement.



HSTW Profile: Queens Vocational and Technical High School and High Schools That Work — Improving SLCs in NYC

Queens Vocational and Technical High School (QVTHS) serves a culturally diverse student population of 1,200 students from across New York City. The school is a part of a cohort of New York City schools that were awarded a United States Department of Education grant to reorganize into small learning communities (SLCs). This profile explains how QVTHS used theHigh Schools That Work framework not only to organize into effective SLCs but also to implement a variety of improvement efforts to ensure success for all students.


HSTW Profile: Louisiana High School Weathers the Storm to Become a Leader in Student Achievement and High Graduation Rates

Warren Easton Charter High School in New Orleans, Louisiana, has weathered changes of many types, including Hurricane Katrina in 2005. After having to close for the 2005-2006 school year, the school reopened as a charter school with a board and stepped up its efforts to raise student achievement. Now the school is receiving attention for the academic successes of its 100 percent minority student body. This profile describes how Warren Easton has implemented the HSTW improvement model to realize higher achievement scores, an attendance rate of more than 96 percent, a graduation rate of 98 percent and a dropout rate of less than 1 percent.


Summer Transitions: Summer Strategies for Successful Transitions from Middle to High School

This article describes best practices in summer transition programs, identified through more than 10 years work looking at how to improve transitions from middle grades to high school. Observations are based on a range of school and district efforts to use the summer to get more students ready for challenging high school studies in grade nine, and have resulted in the identification of several critical actions necessary for success.