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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Schools That Work

Our flagship series highlights practices and case studies from K-12 schools and districts that are improving the way students learn.

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At Trinidad Garza Early College High School, students can earn a free Associate’s degree. Last year, almost 50% of their graduating class did just that.

Examples That Work

Teacher pointing to a wall of color coded cards
Humboldt Elementary | Grades K-6

Humboldt Elementary, a school once on the verge of being labeled under-performing, turned to data to move the bar on student success.

21 3,633 24,891 views
Mom and son reading at home
Humboldt Elementary | Grades K-6

Positioned in Dewey-Humboldt, a small town with a rich mining history, Humboldt Elementary used to be known as the "little school down the hill." Fifteen years ago, expectations for its students were low, and it was a fraction of a point from bein

2
Student listening to a man explain something at the computer in an architect's office
Montpelier High School | Grades 9-12

Personalized learning means student agency, defining curriculum by real-life skills, defining learning expectations, encouraging self-knowledge, and teachers getting to know their students as people.

16 634 7,285 views
Service Learning: Real-Life Applications for Learning
Montpelier High School | Grades 9-12

Montpelier High School's service learning program integrates across the curriculum, utilizing a school greenhouse and gardens to provide food for the school district's lunch program.

2 2,020 35,714 views
Recess for High School Students
Montpelier High School | Grades 9-12

Last year, Montpelier High shifted its schedule to free up 15 minutes -- for recess. Teachers and students find they are more calm and focused, with a camaraderie that continues into the classroom.

3 30,673 44,820 views
Integrated Studies: Sustainability and Cross-Curricular Connections
Montpelier High School | Grades 9-12

By connecting the theme of sustainability across multiple disciplines, the teachers at Montpelier High School have built a robust, integrated teaching approach that engages students and creates community.

1,027 38,151 views
Community-Based Learning: Connecting Students With Their World
Montpelier High School | Grades 9-12

At Montpelier High School, community-based learning focuses on student interest to create internship opportunities that are designed to connect academic learning to the real world.

555 46,506 views

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Boy at computer and another using a tablet and stylus

Evidence of success in lowering the dropout rate and raising grades.

1 19 11,940 views
Hands at work on an electrical project
Mc2 Stem High School | Grades 9-12

How you can help students take responsibility and meet high expectations by providing the right tools and support along the way.

1 232 11,737 views
Learning Expeditions: Rethinking Field Trips

For Normal Park students, the entire community of Chattanooga, Tennessee -- from museums and cultural centers to local businesses and natural areas -- provides opportunities to make real-world connections to curriculum.

5 471 10,920 views
Man wearing glasses standing in front of a white board
School Of The Future | Grades 6-8

This New York City middle and high school measures the full range of student ability through formative assessments, presentations, exhibitions, and tests -- and they put a strong focus on "authentic" tasks that are tied to the real world.

12 189 11,333 views
Replicating Another School's Success: One Teacher's Story

Once a traditional lecture-style teacher, Michelle Underwood's science classroom now hums with the energy of students absorbed in collaborative learning projects.

3 60 4,567 views
A young girl with long hair in a white t-shirt and blue shorts is sitting at a kid-sized table with colorful, clear, Lego-like building pieces. On the table are variations of different towers.

With staff vision and student and community engagement, turn the unused or under-used areas of your school buildings or grounds into gardens, labs, and makerspaces.

1,381 10,928 views
Boy and girl recording voice on laptop

By giving every middle school student a new laptop, the state of Maine strapped new wings on project learning. For both teachers and students, the learning process has soared beyond the classroom.

6 196 10,726 views

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