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HSTW Design Principles

When students complete a challenging academic core and a sequence of engaging, career-preparatory courses, they are not only more likely to achieve readiness benchmarks in reading, math and science, but also more likely to develop a plan for the future. For over 30 years, SREB’s High Schools That Work school improvement framework has helped high schools offer the meaningful learning experiences students need to earn postsecondary credentials and degrees and launch great careers.

Six Foundational Design Principles

 HSTW posits that all students can succeed when schools adopt a comprehensive, research-based set of tools, strategies and structures for reorganizing curriculum and instruction around meaningful learning. 

Six design principles undergird HSTW and SREB’s other school improvement frameworks, Making Middle Grades Work, Technology Centers That Work, the Advanced Career STEM Pathway Academy Network and the Senior-Year Redesign.

  • College-ready academics are taught in conjunction with intellectually demanding career pathway courses.

Academic and career pathway teachers have time to co-plan instruction and challenging, project-based assignments that strengthen students’ literacy and math skills.

Personalized supports and extended learning time help all students meet grade-level standards.

 Accelerated learning experiences give college-ready students a head start on a college credential or degree and help struggling students meet readiness benchmarks for postsecondary education and the workforce.

Students and parents have many opportunities to learn about their interests and aptitudes, explore careers with caring employer mentors and develop personalized programs of study.

 Schools offer teachers the professional development and time they need to work in interdisciplinary teams to plan engaging, standards-driven assignments.

Schools organized around these principles can meet bold achievement goals, like graduating 95 percent of first-time ninth-graders, helping 80 percent of students graduate either college-ready, career-ready or both, and ensuring that at least 60 percent of graduates earn an industry or post-secondary credential or degree by age 25

Last Modified on Oct 25, 2021
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