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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Why We Chose YES Prep

A checklist of essential qualities for Edutopia's Schools That Work series.
By Edutopia Staff
Related Tags: 9-12 High School

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 at YES Prep North Central.

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 and 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
  Close, trusting relationships between staff and students x
  Empowerment of teachers to help lead school improvement x
  Relevant, ongoing, job-embedded teacher training 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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