Building Blocks of High Performing Schools
From the Michigan Association of School Boards (MASB)
Research shows that high student performance is not a result of any one single action taken by schools. Rather, high-performing schools tend to have the following nine characteristics.
Clear and Shared Focus
From the board of education down to the students - everyone is focused and committed to a shared vision and agreed upon goals based on common beliefs and values. At the root of these values is the belief that all students can learn.
High Standards and Expectations for All Students
Teachers and staff believe that all students can learn and meet high standards. Although it's recognized that some students have certain barriers to overcome, the barriers are not seen as insurmountable. Students are offered an ambitious and rigorous course of study.
Effective School Leadership
Effective instructional and administrative leadership promotes excellence, quality, and professional growth, and steadfastly supports, people, program, services, and activities that lead to the accomplishment of district goals.
High Levels of Collaboration and Communication
High-performing schools encompass a community of learners. There is strong teamwork among teachers across all grades and with other staff. All members of the learning community, including students, parents, and members of the community work together to create a supportive learning environment and to actively solve problems and create solutions.
Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Aligned with Standards
High performing schools have aligned curriculum with the state standards and staff that implements using research-based teaching and learning strategies. Staff understand the role of classroom and state assessments, what the assessments measure, and how student work is evaluated.
Frequent Monitoring of Teaching and Learning
Teaching is adjusted based on frequent monitoring of student progress and needs. Assessment results are used to improve student performance and improve instructional programs.
Focused Professional Development
Professional development is based on needs assessment and sustained over time. Deliberate decisions are made to support professional development that is aligned with the school district and goals.
Supportive Learning Environment
The school has a safe, civil, healthy, and intellectually stimulating and personalized learning environment. Students feel respected and connected to the staff and are engaged in learning.
High Level of Parent and Community Involvement
Parents and community members understand and support the basic mission of the school and have an important role in achieving that mission.