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9 Things That Successful Schools Have in Common

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Do you want to have a successful school? Are you looking to work for a successful school system? Check out this blog to learn the nine characteristics of successful schools.

Successful schools often have exemplary leaders at their head. Other factors also define effective learning environments. A study conducted by the Office of the Superintendent for Public Instruction (OSPI) in Washington state discovered that successful schools, which performed well on standardized testing measures, had nine characteristics in common:

1. Everyone in the school--students, faculty and administrators--shares a common goal and vision. The school's individual mission statement has been arrived at collectively with input provided by many interested stakeholders.

2. Everyone in the school believes that all students can achieve and attain high standards. Students are encouraged to rigorously follow grade-appropriate courses of study.

3. School leadership is proactive in seeking solutions and is effective at promoting achievement among all concerned: students, staff, and interested stakeholders. In a high-performing school, leadership is assumed at many levels and is not simply confined to a principal; teachers and other staff are encouraged to take on leadership responsibilities.

4. Teamwork is apparent. Everyone in the school works together, communicates effectively with one another, and collaborates to ensure student success.

5. The curriculum is in line with state standards. Teachers understand state assessment procedures and use effective instructional methods grounded in research to support student performance on assessment measures.

6. Students are continuously assessed and are offered support whenever necessary. Teachers make adjustments to their teaching methods to ensure that all students have access to learning.

7. Instructional staff receive professional development opportunities in line with the school's vision and educational mission. The ongoing learning of the staff coincides with the school's direction.

8. Students are treated with respect and feel connected to the staff. Learning is personalized to meet individual student needs. Class sizes tend to be small.

9. The community is actively involved in the school. Education is not simply a responsibility for educational professionals.

Is your school successful? If not, what changes can you make or suggest to help your school implement these characteristics of success?

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The opinions expressed in Education Futures: Emerging Trends in K-12 are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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