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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Examples That Work

Place-Based Learning: Connecting Kids to Their Community

At Hood River Middle School, place-based learning makes student learning relevant and engaging by turning their local geography, culture, history, and economy into classroom lessons.

5 100 17,978 views
Teacher standing by a whiteboard explaining parts of the base of a weather balloon

Hood River Middle School shares its seven-step model for including student-interest enrichment courses and intervention support within the regular school day.

53 5,334 views
A classroom of kids and teacher out on the field getting ready to release a weather balloon

Turn your school into a community hub by making your facilities publicly available, letting your community know about it, and creating partnerships with those who rent your school spaces.

24 1,938 views
A class off the school bus next to the river taking notes

An outdoor education program builds community and culture, raises expectations and standards, increases connection between students, and develops positive associations around school and the outdoors.

2 2,632 8,486 views
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 62 1,938 views
Community Partners: Making Student Learning Relevant

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

6 69 18,776 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.

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A boy and two girls sitting together talking about the project they're working on

By encouraging students' wonder and recording their "I Wonder" questions, teachers can view those questions holistically and use them to develop lessons and projects that will harness student curiosity.

4 285 30,312 views
Collaborative Learning Builds Deeper Understanding

Encouraging students to reach out to one another to solve problems not only builds collaboration skills but leads to deeper learning and understanding.

4 353 78,784 views
Infographic showing the value of educating students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Mc2 Stem High School | Grades 9-12

Knowledge in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) can be the key to a successful future. Here's why a STEM education matters and how you can inspire students to pursue STEM careers.

7 1,516 29,584 views
Differentiated Instruction in the Classroom at Mesquite Elementary School

Mix teacher collaboration and innovative leadership with a big dose of differentiated instruction and you get Mesquite Elementary's winning recipe.

7 261 110,834 views
Meditation Helps Lower Truancy and Suspensions

With levels of violence and poverty rising around them, San Francisco middle school students find social and emotional healing -- and a new readiness to learn -- in a bold program of daily meditation.

14 1,605 59,753 views
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.

22 3,633 28,129 views
Performance-Based Assessment: Engaging Students in Chemistry
Hampton High School | Grades 9-12

In Hampton High's PBA Chemistry Research Project, students create a model of their compound, produce a video about it, and defend it in a debate.

186 26,810 views

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