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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

School Of The Future

Grades 6-8 | New York City, NY

Why We Chose School of the Future

A checklist of essential qualities for schools and school districts profiled in Edutopia's Schools That Work.

Rising eleven stories above midtown Manhattan, School of the Future boasts a rooftop with a weather station and a green house -- and a dedicated core of teachers who are making learning relevant and assessment a rigorous part of the process.

Credit: Tom LeGoff

Our Schools That Work series explores what goes on at some of the most innovative, successful schools around the country. These range from schools with long-standing records of high performance to turnaround schools now on the road to substantially higher achievement. We visit each school to take a close-up look at its best practices and the specific challenges it faces, then we assemble a package of stories and hands-on tools that you can use to replicate some of the school's successes.

Even before we choose a school, we give it a hard look to make sure it delivers the kind of creative, effective, replicable practices that Edutopia can stand behind. Here's a quick look at the standards and the strengths we saw in New York City at the School of the Future.

Minimal Moderate Strong
Cohesive school culture with high expectations x
Focus on 21st-century skills and themes x
Use of project learning and integrated studies x
Availability and meaningful use of technology x
High student achievement x
High student engagement x
High or improving scores on standard measures x
Use of authentic assessment with real-world application x
Emphasis on inquiry and student-directed, rather than only teacher-directed, learning x
Collaborative planning among teachers x
Personalized instruction and regular use of assessment to shape teaching and learning x
Culture of trust fostered between staff and students x
Teachers given input and leadership in shaping school improvement x
Relevant, ongoing professional development tailored to individual teacher's needs x
Meaningful involvement of parents and community members x
Track record of sustained success for at least two years x
Eagerness among staff to share best practices and help other schools replicate their success x

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