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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Allowing students to move the furniture can help you differentiate instruction and give your students more agency in their learning.

Examples That Work

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.

2 68 4,682 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.

829 2,464 views
College Prep: College Acceptance for Every Student

At Urban Prep Charter Academy, Englewood Campus -- an all-black, all-male Title I school -- 100% of graduates are accepted to a four-year college or university.

3 61 62,741 views
Daily Assemblies: Deepening Relationships Through Ritual and Recognition

Students at Urban Prep Charter Academies are celebrated, supported, and empowered through their daily community assembly.

1 185 22,115 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.

6 330 12,104 views
Proud graduates standing on the bleachers in the gymnasium under the large Urban Prep banner as family members take pictures

Urban Prep Charter School changes student outcomes through rituals, relationships, and respect.

1 60
Interest-Based Electives: Engaging Students With STEAM Explorations

Educators at Walter Bracken STEAM Academy engage students by letting them choose outside-the-box enrichment classes, like toy making, drones, and candy chemistry.  

1 1,228 4,308 views

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Social and Emotional Learning: A Schoolwide Approach

Strategies like mindfulness, emotional regulation, and supportive small groups help Symonds meet the academic and social needs of their students.

5 584 53,196 views
Head shot of woman smiling

Educators from Ariel Community Academy, in Chicago, have provided lesson plans and web resources to help you get started.

3 195 24,644 views
A closeup of a teenage boy sitting by himself in a cafeteria, dressed in a blue button up shirt, tie, and suit jacket, looking directly at the camera.

Harley Center shares how relationships, humor, choice, and displaying his work engaged him, plus his three-minute video highlighting student work and personalized learning.

1 1,847 24,398 views
Making Sure They Are Learning
School Of The Future | Grades 6-8

Sticky notes coalesce into high-level analytical thinking in Sarah Kaufmann's 6th grade humanities class, where complex concepts are broken down into manageable pieces that help students master challenging assignments.

13 346 26,916 views
Collaborative Planning: Integrating Curriculum Across Subjects

Hood River Middle School collaborates on projects across subjects to make learning relevant, connected, and engaging.

23 6,473 47,877 views
Instructional Coaching:  Driving Meaningful Tech Integration
Hampton High School | Grades 9-12

With Hampton High's tech instructional coach, teachers have found a confidant, subject-area expert, co-teacher, and PD coordinator at their fingertips, enhancing smart, school-wide tech integration.

551 25,450 views
Three boys sitting together at a table in class smiling at the camera

Educators from Mount Desert Elementary School in Northeast Harbor, Maine, have shared a some social and emotional learning tools, and we've gathered some of our favorite resources as well.

180 23,165 views

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