Professional Learning

Meet Your 2019 ICLE Model Schools and Innovative Districts

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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.

SchoolLocationArea of Focus for 2018–2019
Lake Pointe Elementary SchoolFort Worth, TXIgniting Rigorous LearningThrough Relationships
Lillian Schumacher Elementary SchoolLiberty, MOGrowing All Learners
Merriam Cherry Street Elementary SchoolPanama City, FLRapid ImprovementThrough Believing in Kids
Mountain View Elementary SchoolManchester, GABalancing Culture and Climate With Data-Driven Instruction
Sandy Grade SchoolSandy, ORGrowing All Kids
Sugarland ElementarySterling, VAPersonalized LearningWith Purpose
Westwood Elementary SchoolWarrensville Heights, OHEquity and Culturally ResponsiveTeaching

SchoolLocationArea of Focus
Foothills Community SchoolMarion, NCService Learning and Careers
Harrison Middle SchoolSunnyside, WAShifting Mindset ThroughEffective Grading Practices
Man Middle SchoolMallory, WVChanging School CultureThrough Literacy
Gladys Poet-Christian K-8 SchoolTracy, CARigor, Relevance and Relationships
Thornton Middle SchoolKaty, TXPositive CampusCulture and Climate
SchoolLocationArea of Focus
Del Valle High SchoolDel Valle, TXData-Driven Decisions and Small Learning Communities
Farrington High SchoolHonolulu, HIBold, Blended Learning
Glasgow High SchoolGlasgow, KYClosing Achievement and Opportunity Gaps
Midlothian High SchoolMidlothian, VAGrowth Mindsets for College and Career Readiness
Orestimba High SchoolNewman, CAPassion-Driven Innovation
Park View High SchoolSterling, VACulturally and Linguistically DiverseLearning Communities
DistrictLocationArea of Focus
Asbury ParkSchool DistrictAsbury Park, NJDisrupting the Status Quo
Cypress-FairbanksIndependent School DistrictHouston, TXSustaining Excellence
Fairview Park City SchoolsFairview Park, OhioMaking Transformative Change a Reality
Fayetteville-Manlius School DistrictManlius, NYStudent Voice and Choice
Ferndale Public SchoolsFerndale, MISocial-Emotional Learning
Maine Township District 207Park Ridge, ILData-Informed Instructional Decisions
San Benito CISDSan Benito, TXSystemwide Rigor, Relevance and Relationships
Selma City SchoolsSelma, ALCreating 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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