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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 25,076 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 7,280 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 35,712 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 44,811 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 46,504 views

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Teacher working with young students on laptops

Social media is becoming an essential tool for professional growth, curriculum planning, and student engagement. Twitter, Instagram, Skype, and other platforms offer endless educational possibilities.

1,490 11,931 views
Boy at computer and another using a tablet and stylus

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

1 19 11,931 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 10,914 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
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 11,324 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 10,920 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 10,718 views

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