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
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.
A common misconception is that Literacy Design Collaborative
(LDC) is not a good fit in classes geared toward struggling
readers and writers. Nicole Craig, a reading intervention teacher
at Avalon Middle School (AMS) in Orlando, Florida knows firsthand
this is not true.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.