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 4,983 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 2,492 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 63,899 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.

1 223 22,567 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 12,309 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
Garden-Based Learning: Engaging Students in Their Environment

From fairy gardens to garden towers, Walter Bracken STEAM Academy transformed its school grounds into a student-centered, garden-learning wonderland.

7 2,025 14,268 views

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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 25,912 views
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.

5 589 54,130 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 25,165 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 61,155 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 27,400 views
Bates Middle School | Grades 6-8

Arts integration helps kids connect and feel safe on the bumpy road to learning.

4 729 23,421 views
Thinking Big About Engagement
School Of The Future | Grades 6-8

Even the smallest concepts become big enough to grasp in this middle school science class, where teacher Rob Olazagasti gives students opportunities to learn by creating, remember by experiencing, and show what they know by teaching.

12 262 19,625 views

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