Category: School Transformation

Reflecting on a Year of Growth at Des Moines Public Schools

By Kara Bentley Staff members at an Iowa elementary school reflect on the take-aways, challenges, and rewards of becoming a School for Rigor. Read the first part of this series here. In August 2017, I had the privilege of working with the instructional staff of Monroe Elementary School in Des Moines

Turning Around School Performance Requires Bold Steps: How Bear Creek Elementary Went From a “D” to “A”

By Willette Houston (Originally published in SEEN Magazine) Be bold. That’s where a school leader must start if you want to lead meaningful school change. There’s nothing wrong with incremental improvement or plotting out a step-by-step process, but we have to take a step back and look at the big picture

Student Reflections on Finding Joy in the Journey at Greensboro Elementary School

By Kara Bentley Some images courtesy of Greensboro Elementary School Assistant Principal Todd Nichols. Follow him on Twitter here. Update: In December, 2018, Caroline County Schools and LSI hosted a summit to allow other school and district leaders to observe the rigorous classroom environments and speak with administrators, teachers and students.

Greensboro Elementary School: Finding Joy in the Journey

By Kara Bentley Images courtesy of Greensboro Elementary School Assistant Principal Todd Nichols. Follow him on Twitter here. Update: In December, 2018, Caroline County Schools and LSI hosted a summit to allow other school and district leaders to observe the rigorous classroom environments and speak with administrators, teachers and students.

Building Rigor and Engagement Into Academic Vocabulary

Building Rigor and Engagement Into Academic Vocabulary

Six tips to get students excited about acquiring new words. By Kristin DeJong Remember the days when a teacher would hand us a spelling book and tell us to complete exercises in it? We would memorize each word and then take a dictation quiz at the end of the unit.

Building a Student-Centered School

Resisting the Urge to “Rescue” Students from Deeper Learning By Amy M. Dujon (originally published on Smartbrief), author of The Gritty Truth of School Transformation. This is an exciting era in education. We’re all starting to realize that the most effective way to prepare learners for the uncertain demands of the

Ignite Student-Centered Learning

Student-Centered Learning Starts Here: Grand Island Public Schools

“Having those conversations with their peers was so empowering for them that it just became a natural part of what they were doing.” — Walnut Middle School teacher Elizabeth Boyle This year, three schools in Grand Island, Nebraska are igniting student learning through a Schools for Rigor partnership with Learning

#RiseGI: Igniting Student Ownership in Grand Island, Nebraska

By Theresa Staley The Jefferson Elementary School faculty, along with 255 K–5 students, are currently housed in a temporary location across the city, as a new site is under construction and will open in August 2020. Therefore, the teachers, coach, and school administrator, Mrs. Sheree Stockwell, have innovatively created a