Photo: Educators from San Benito Consolidated Independent School District, which was named a 2019 Innovative District, at the 2018 Model Schools Conference.
Each year, I take deep pride in announcing the schools and districts selected to share their transformational journeys at the Model Schools Conference.
This year's Model Schools and Innovative Districts come from all pockets of the country. They are all unique, yet united in working toward a vision of high achievement and equitable opportunities for all students. They are shaping not just the minds of students but also their hearts through strong relationships, a sense of empathy, and high expectations despite challenging demographics.
Each of these inspiring schools and districts persevered on a different path to rapid improvement, and each has a varied definition of success in their own context. Some of these schools and districts had been historically low performing and are now experiencing tremendous growth. Some had always been considered good but refused to be nothing short of great.
In a 2018 blog post, I described the qualities and criteria we look for in the schools and districts we honor each year. Model Schools and Innovative Districts recognize the need for change, collectively establish a vision, and systematically work together to create a learning environment that enables students of all abilities to thrive. They focus on leveraging individual data to make instructional decisions and personalize instruction; balance rigor and relevance in interdisciplinary learning; and create equity, access, and opportunities for all.
Congratulations to the 2019 Model Schools and Innovative Districts! We've also listed them below with the action for impact they took to bring about change in their district since last year.
|School||Location||Area of Focus for 2018–2019|
|Lake Pointe Elementary School||Fort Worth, TX||Igniting Rigorous Learning|
|Lillian Schumacher Elementary School||Liberty, MO||Growing All Learners|
|Merriam Cherry Street Elementary School||Panama City, FL||Rapid Improvement|
Through Believing in Kids
|Mountain View Elementary School||Manchester, GA||Balancing Culture and Climate|
With Data-Driven Instruction
|Sandy Grade School||Sandy, OR||Growing All Kids|
|Sugarland Elementary||Sterling, VA||Personalized Learning|
|Westwood Elementary School||Warrensville Heights, OH||Equity and Culturally Responsive|
|School||Location||Area of Focus|
|Foothills Community School||Marion, NC||Service Learning and Careers|
|Harrison Middle School||Sunnyside, WA||Shifting Mindset Through|
Effective Grading Practices
|Man Middle School||Mallory, WV||Changing School Culture|
|Gladys Poet-Christian K-8 School||Tracy, CA||Rigor, Relevance and Relationships|
|Thornton Middle School||Katy, TX||Positive Campus|
Culture and Climate
|School||Location||Area of Focus|
|Del Valle High School||Del Valle, TX||Data-Driven Decisions and Small Learning Communities|
|Farrington High School||Honolulu, HI||Bold, Blended Learning|
|Glasgow High School||Glasgow, KY||Closing Achievement and Opportunity Gaps|
|Midlothian High School||Midlothian, VA||Growth Mindsets for College and Career Readiness|
|Orestimba High School||Newman, CA||Passion-Driven Innovation|
|Park View High School||Sterling, VA||Culturally and Linguistically Diverse|
|District||Location||Area of Focus|
|Asbury Park, NJ||Disrupting the Status Quo|
Independent School District
|Houston, TX||Sustaining Excellence|
|Fairview Park City Schools||Fairview Park, Ohio||Making Transformative Change a Reality|
|Fayetteville-Manlius School District||Manlius, NY||Student Voice and Choice|
|Ferndale Public Schools||Ferndale, MI||Social-Emotional Learning|
|Maine Township District 207||Park Ridge, IL||Data-Informed Instructional Decisions|
|San Benito CISD||San Benito, TX||Systemwide Rigor, Relevance and Relationships|
|Selma City Schools||Selma, AL||Creating a Culture of Joy|
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of HMH.
Join us on June 23–26 in Washington, D.C., at the 27th Annual Model Schools Conference and explore firsthand how you can act for impact in your school or district to elevate the learning experience.
This blog post was updated in February 2019.
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