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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

Close up of a hand holding a pencil captioning drawings of water seeping between rocks, freezing and melting

Permaculture is ideal for teaching ecology, yet also works as a classroom design system that fosters empathy, inspires advocacy, and increases productivity within your school's existing standards and framework.

4 239 2,275 views
Community Partners: Making Student Learning Relevant

At Hood River Middle School, local experts make student learning come to life.

6 814 17,516 views
The front of the school with fall colors and student walking by

By helping students understand the history, geology, and culture of their place, Hood River Middle School supports students in understanding themselves and their role in their community.

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.

1,524 10,742 views
Pride Advisory Classes: Social and Emotional Support for Every Student

"Going to Pride every day does something for me that no academic class can do. It's like a second home." – Deveon, a 12th-grade Urban Prep, Englewood Campus student.

3 2,383 9,107 views
An assembly of teenage boys in tan slacks, white-collared, button-up shirts, black jackets, and red ties are standing. A female teacher is standing among them.

With a culture emphasizing respect, responsibility, ritual, and relationships, Chicago's Urban Prep Charter Academy provides young men with a supportive community for learning academic and life skills.

1 1,441 4,137 views
A teenage boy is sitting a table looking at a desktop computer screen. A female teacher is kneeling on the floor beside him, also looking at the computer, and talking.

Urban Prep Charter Academy ensures college success for their alumni through support, resources, and advocacy to help these young men navigate their post-secondary academic careers.

835 2,069 views

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Using Dialogue Circles to Support Classroom Management
Glenview Elementary | Grades K-5

At Glenview Elementary School, dialogue circles are part of a program aimed at building collaboration, respect, and positive behavior among students.

6 2,078 39,434 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 30,675 45,010 views
Young girl reading a book

How you can start personalizing learning in 5 minutes, 5 days, 5 weeks, 5 months, and beyond.

3 357 51,086 views
Students working together in class.

Encouraging students to reach out to each other to solve problems and share knowledge builds collaborative skills and leads to deeper learning at The College Preparatory School.

9 498 49,639 views
Mathis in active dialogue with students sitting in circle on the floor with hands raised

An inquiry-based curriculum requires both planning and flexibility, as well as a teacher knowing the students well enough to anticipate their interests and limits.

5 10,286 46,123 views
Student-Led Conferences: Empowerment and Ownership

Putting students in the driver's seat of their parent-teacher conferences creates opportunities for reflection, engagement, and agency.

4 4,816 23,093 views
Bates Middle School | Grades 6-8

At Bates Middle School in Annapolis, Maryland, arts integration has helped raise student achievement, in conjunction with other key best practices.

3 1,798 42,813 views

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