Turning Around a Struggling District
Peter Azar, Ed.D.
Winchendon Public Schools
Five years ago, Winchendon Public Schools (WPS) was designated an "underperforming district" by the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. After a lot of hard work developing and implementing targeted plans for improvement, the district has made significant strides. Learn how WPS turned itself around and shed its underperforming label.
Casting the Net Wide: Strategies to Help a Diverse Student Body Succeed
Glendale Unified School District
Educating a large student body with diverse needs is a challenge that many school districts face. Learn how Glendale Unified School District made academic gains by employing a wide range of teaching strategies and support programs to address student needs.
Cultivating Successful Early Readers
Eisenhower Elementary School
Teaching elementary school students to read is a high priority for today's educators. Learn how students who require additional reading assistance at Eisenhower Elementary School in Clearwater, Florida, are making significant gains through reading intervention and parental interaction.
An Eye on the Future: Building Strong Foundations in Science and Math
Cindy Moss, Ph.D.
Director of Science and Math
Charlotte, North Carolina
As the number of high-tech businesses increases, so does the need for professionals with solid foundations in science and math. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has implemented a series of programs for students and teachers to create a globally competitive graduate population. Learn how the district is taking a hands-on approach to prepare students for careers in science and technology.
Creating a Community for Learning
Janice Eckola, Ed.D.
Director of Curriculum and Instruction
Lake Geneva Area Schools
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
Educators from the Lake Geneva Area Schools in Wisconsin created professional learning communities to provide teachers with a framework for collaborating with one another and to give them specific ways to boost student achievement. In addition, they implemented a variety of academic and co-curricular programs to help students with reading and mathematics. Learn how the district made great strides in student achievement on state tests and within its schools.
Framework for Quality: A Commitment to Continuous Improvement
Kirby Lehman, Ed.D.
Jenks Public School District
For the Jenks Public School District, 2005 was a momentous year. After a lengthy and rigorous application and evaluation process, the district received the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. A testament to their effective program of total quality education, the award has also required a new level of commitment to quality on the part of the district. Learn how Jenks Public Schools employs meticulous practices and specifically developed programs for students and staff to maintain continuous improvement and a high level of achievement.
Making a Difference In and Outside the Classroom
Director of Language Arts and Reading
Toledo Public School District
Dorothy Batson, director of language arts and reading with the Toledo Public School District, has dedicated thirty-three years of her career to the success of Ohio students. Most recently, while also serving as curriculum coordinator for Old West End Academy, Batson developed an effective academic framework that helped propel the five-year-old magnet elementary school to one of the top-performing, most successful schools in the district.
Bridging the Achievement Gap: One Charter School's Path to Success
Michael Sharpe, Ph.D., CEO
Doreen Crawford, Principal
A decade ago, students in Hartford, Connecticut's urban community were falling behind in reading and math. In response, Thelma Ellis Dickerson founded Jumoke Academy, a charter school that aimed to provide students with an academic program so strong it would put them on par with other students across the state, regardless of socioeconomic factors. Learn how educators at Jumoke Academy built an effective curriculum and developed progressive extracurricular activities to meet Dickerson's goal.
Maintaining Momentum and Driving Success
Indian River School District
When Principal Duncan Smith received a phone call during his first day on the job at Frankford Elementary announcing that the school had won the Education Trust's Dispelling the Myth Award, he knew he had big shoes to fill in the wake of the former principal's retirement. His challenge would be to keep the momentum of the school's remarkable transformation, and to ensure that the students at Frankford Elementary would continue to be successful.
Mentoring Program Grooms Latino Leaders
Fernando Elizondo, Ed.D.
CALSA Mentoring Program
Latinos comprise 48 percent of California's student population, and that number is on the rise. In sharp contrast, the number of Latino superintendents and administrators serving as role models to those students is alarmingly low: just 7 percent of superintendents and 13 percent of administrators. Established in 2003, the California Latino Superintendents Association (CALSA) Mentoring Program was designed to increase the number of Latino superintendents and administrators, help them sustain their positions, and ensure enduring support for Latino educational leaders.
Anatomy of a Successful Pilot Program
Director of Instructional Services
School District of Onalaska
When the School District of Onalaska's K–5 teachers broached the idea of adopting new math instructional resources, they knew their colleagues were a mix of traditional and standards-based math teachers. Learn how a new pilot program bridged the gap and unified the group behind one curriculum and method of instruction.
Strengthening the Ties That Bind a District
Director of Curriculum and Instruction
Santa Cruz City School District
Santa Cruz, California
When Diane Morgenstern assumed the position as director of curriculum and instruction, Santa Cruz City School District teachers were using varying curriculum, district-wide professional development opportunities were scanty, and there was a lack of opportunity for collaboration among administrators, teachers, and staff. To unify the district, Morgenstern reached out to teachers and administrators to work together and devise a plan.
Higher Expectations Encourage Students to Pursue Higher Education
Desert Sands Unified School District
When Rudy Ramirez began his tenure as principal, the overwhelming majority of students who left Indio High School in California had no intention of enrolling in college. To reverse that trend, Ramirez implemented an academic reform program that increased the number of college-bound students by more than 300 percent.
A Focus on Improving Literacy at School and Home Helps Students Succeed
Logan County School District
Just three years ago, the majority of primary students at Chandlers Elementary School in Russellville, Kentucky, were reading below grade level. In an effort to curb the disturbing reading trend, Chandlers Elementary applied for and received Reading First designation, and used some of the funding to adopt a uniform reading program, implement three-tiered differentiated instruction, and focus on family literacy.
Professional Learning Communities Boost Math Scores
Assistant Superintendent for Instruction and Accountability
Phoenix Union High School District
When Phoenix Union High School District (PUHSD) was faced with low student morale, frustrated teachers, and the lowest standardized math scores in the state, they adopted the professional learning community model and experienced significant results. Learn how PUHSD implemented professional learning communities and outpaced the rate of improvement statewide by increasing their scores 300 percent.
An Alternative Approach to Teacher Recruitment
Dallas Independent School District
Recruiting and retaining high-quality teachers is a challenge shared by states, districts, and schools nationwide. Learn how unique incentives and personalized training helps the Dallas Independent School District Alternative Certification Program attract thousands of professionals who leave the corporate world for the classroom.
Bringing Science to Life in the Classroom
San Dieguito Union High School District
Recently selected by her peers as the 2006 California League of Middle Schools (CLMS) State Educator of the Year, Susan Glass is a dynamic science educator and the science department chair at Oak Crest Middle School in Encinitas, California. She is widely commended for teaching to the highest common denominator and inspiring her students to realize their full potential.
Educational Summer Program Helps Children Excel
Boston Public Schools
At Maurice J. Tobin Elementary School, located in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood, Principal Cheryl Watson-Harris, her teachers, and her administrative staff are faced with the great challenge of ensuring the educational success of their students. Learn how summer learning programs play an important role in helping Tobin Elementary students excel.
Changing the Culture Changes the Tide
Prince George's County School District
Seabrook Elementary School in Prince George's County, Maryland, was on the state's watch list for failing to make adequate yearly progress and in danger of a state takeover. Principal Marvel Smith knew that to turn things around in Seabrook, she would need to change the culture, the academics, and the organization.
A Passion to Teach Children in Need
Caruthers Unified School District
With a passion to motivate, encourage, and inspire, Gursharan Rahal, named California State Educator of the Year in January 2006, has dedicated the past four years to teaching economically disadvantaged and Hispanic children in California's Central Valley farm communities how to read.
Rebuilding a District: Making Order Out of Chaos
Park R-3 School District
Estes Park, Colorado
After one superintendent was sent to jail for embezzlement and his replacement was quickly recognized as a poor fit for the position, the school district realized that their curriculum director was an unsung hero and someone uniquely qualified for the role. Learn how this district leader’s three core programs, which are focused on communication, achievement, and school climate, have made order out of chaos.
Urban District Dramatically Increases Reading Achievement
Nathan N. Parker, Ed.D.
Orange School District
Orange, New Jersey
Orange, New Jersey, an urban district located just outside Newark and close to New York City, serves more than 4,500 students. Read how, in two years, the district turned four out of five of their elementary schools failing to meet state proficiency standards into some of the top performing schools in the state.
Rural Community Helps English Language Learners
Lindsay Unified School District
Districts with a high population of English language learners face the challenge of making the same curriculum accessible to all students. The ability to know which students need intervention is critical, as is the ability to guide instructional adjustments before end-of-year exams. Learn how Lindsay Unified administrators led a systemic change to help their students.
Rural Elementary School Achieves Gains Across All Grades
New Plymouth School District
New Plymouth, Idaho
Idaho's New Plymouth Elementary School faced a common challenge: to increase student achievement with limited resources and time. In one year, this committed school improved reading scores across all grade levels by an average of 39%, and experienced positive spillover effects, including increases in language arts and math scores. Read about the school's keys to success.
Award-Winning Educator Goes Beyond the Classroom
Jill Sayuri Nakamura
Fresno Unified School District
Jill Sayuri Nakamura, a Fresno, California, educator and one of twenty teachers named to USA Today's annual All-Star Teacher Team, successfully raised the percentage of students reading at or above grade level from twenty-nine to seventy-six percent. This case study takes a closer look at her success.
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