HMH’s International Center for Leadership in Education and Jasper County School District Launch Partnership to Boost Student Performance, Foster Transformational Change

ICLE consultants to work with district leaders, instructional coaches and educators to design, implement and support rigorous instruction

JASPER, S.C. — Jasper County School District (JCSD) has launched a partnership with the International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE), a division of learning technology company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) dedicated to working side by side with educators to implement meaningful practices and support all learners and teachers. Together, ICLE and JCSD will develop and implement a new initiative to foster rigorous and relevant learning environments districtwide.

Serving approximately 2,700 students, JCSD is focused on fostering transformational change to strengthen teaching and learning, build teacher efficacy, and improve outcomes for its students. As school communities navigate the unexpected challenges and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the partnership with ICLE is designed to mitigate the impacts of interrupted learning and help students continue to grow and achieve success. JCSD leaders will prioritize creating a comprehensive K-12 curriculum to support instructional delivery and re-examine lesson design and instructional delivery.

“One of my top priorities as superintendent is to change the headline and perception of Jasper County School District. Our students come first and in order to serve them well, we must update our curriculum to include highly rigorous and relevant tasks in addition to ensuring high levels of execution,” says Dr. Rechel Anderson, Superintendent, JCSD. “ICLE has a proven track record of supporting districts through transformational change and they are the perfect partner to support our efforts. We look forward to doing the hard work necessary to reach our desired outcomes and make major improvements across our school district.”

Beginning this spring and continuing through the 2021-22 school year, ICLE’s experienced consultants will partner with JCSD leaders, instructional coaches and educators to build internal capacity to support a scaled implementation following ICLE’s celebrated framework—Rigorous Curriculum Design and Instructional Excellence through Rigor, Relevance and Relationships—to help achieve transformation.

  • Rigorous Curriculum Design (RCD): RCD is a proven model for designing a cohesive and comprehensive curriculum that intentionally aligns standards, instruction and assessment. ICLE will work with the district to create curriculum units aligned to their standards, which include pre/post assessments and performance tasks. Through coaching, ICLE supports educators in creating daily lesson plans that align to the units.

  • Instructional Excellence through Rigor, Relevance and Relationships: Based on years of extensive research, ICLE has found that the key to improving student performance is a tireless focus on providing rigorous and relevant instruction. ICLE will provide Jasper County school and district leaders with a deep understanding of rigorous learning and using data to make instructional decisions. Simultaneously, ICLE will work with teachers to understand how to create rigorous and relevant learning experiences and apply instructional strategies.

Through this approach, Jasper County will establish a manageable model to increase fidelity and ensure long term success.

“Jasper County is an innovative district committed to building strong instructional leaders to improve outcomes for its students,” says Venola Mason, Associate Partner, ICLE. “ICLE is uniquely qualified to assist Jasper County with the development and implementation of a districtwide initiative to foster rigorous and relevant learning environments, and our dedicated consultants look forward to partnering with district leaders and educators to drive student achievement for years to come.”

Over the past two decades, the ICLE team has been devoted to observing, studying, and supporting the transformation of the nation’s most rapidly improving schools and applies that expertise daily in its work with partner districts.

HMH’s professional service offerings are all-encompassing, providing leadership training, personalized coaching, curriculum-aligned implementation support, the Teacher’s Corner professional learning community and much more. HMH is proud to be listed in the Professional Learning Partner Guide (PLPG) from Rivet Education—PLPG providers are designated based on their ability to demonstrate significant evidence of high-quality curriculum-aligned professional services within four phases: adoption, launch, ongoing support for teachers, or ongoing support for leaders.

About Jasper County School District

Jasper County School District (JCSD) is a small rural school district located in Jasper County, South Carolina. Jasper County is located in the Lowcountry Region of SC. Jasper County School District serves approximately 2,700 students, Pre-K – 12th grade. JCSD has two campuses. The north campus is located in Ridgeland, South Carolina, and houses Ridgeland Elementary School, a K-5 school, and Ridgeland-Hardeeville High School, a 9-12 school. The campus also features a Career and Advanced Technology Education Center that opened January 2021. The south campus is located in Hardeeville, South Carolina and houses Hardeeville Elementary School, a K-5 school, and Hardeeville-Ridgeland Middle School, a 6-8 school. The overall configuration of the district is two elementary schools, one middle school, one high school, and one alternative school. More specifically, the system provides College and Career support through JCSD’s very own Career and Advanced Technology Education Center and Beaufort-Jasper Academy for Career Excellence (BJ-ACE).

About the International Center for Leadership in Education

The International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE), a division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, challenges, inspires, and equips leaders and teachers to prepare their students for lifelong success. At the heart of ICLEs work is the proven philosophy that the entire system must be aligned around instructional excellence- rooted in rigor, relevance, and relationships- to ensure every student is prepared for a successful future. Founded in 1991 by Dr. Bill Daggett, ICLE, through its team of thought leaders and consultants, partners with schools and districts to implement innovative practices to scale through professional learning opportunities. Additionally, ICLE shares successful practices that have a positive impact on student learning through keynote presentations, the Model Schools Conference, and a rich collection of publications. Learn more at

About Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (NASDAQ: HMHC) is a learning technology company committed to delivering connected solutions that engage learners, empower educators and improve student outcomes. As a leading provider of K–12 core curriculum, supplemental and intervention solutions and professional learning services, HMH partners with educators and school districts to uncover solutions that unlock students' potential and extend teachers' capabilities. HMH serves more than 50 million students and 3 million educators in 150 countries, while its award-winning children's books, novels, non-fiction, and reference titles are enjoyed by readers throughout the world. For more information, visit

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Leah Riviere
Director, Communications
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt