The school turnaround process focuses on rapid and dramatic improvements that result in substantial gains in student achievement in no more than three years. There are four key practices that can help under-performing schools make the drastic shift from low-performing to "turnaround" school: develop improved leadership that signals the need for change, focus on instruction quality throughout the process, earn quick wins by making small but visible improvements, and build a committed staff engaged in the process.

To learn more about the research underlying these practices, view the IES Practice Guide, Turning Around Chronically Low-Performing Schools.

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Improving High School Instruction

Improving High School Instruction

The chair of a high school science department shares instructional strategies that teachers use to engage students in learning. Teachers need to have a clear objective, regularly check for...

School Example
Video
04/14/2014
495 views
Strategic Math Support Classes

Strategic Math Support Classes

Waterford High School places support classes within the regular school day to help students who perform below the basic level in algebra. Watch this video to see how the math department teachers...

School Example
Video
04/14/2014
279 views
Teachers Implement Changes to Improve Instruction

Teachers Implement Changes to Improve Instruction

A music, special education, and fifth-grade teacher discuss strategies that they have learned and implemented successfully in their classrooms. The teachers use state assessment results to shape...

School Example
Video
04/14/2014
312 views
Professional Community Time

Professional Community Time

A high school principal celebrates his staff’s successes and leads them in a discussion of the school vision. Teachers then work collaboratively to develop activities to foster higher-order...

School Example
Video
04/14/2014
318 views
Creating an Actionable Plan

Creating an Actionable Plan

View a presentation about a high school implementation of a comprehensive literacy plan across all content areas. A literacy council was established to support the implementation of evidence-based...

School Example
Video
04/14/2014
331 views
Setting High Standards

Setting High Standards

Listen to the audio to hear an approach for determining students' mathematics grades at Waterford High School. This approach helps ensure that students reach proficiency on all math standards....

School Example
Audio
04/14/2014
214 views
Planning Together to Support Student Growth

Planning Together to Support Student Growth

Fourth-grade teachers discuss student supports in their weekly grade-level team meeting, focusing on selected students. The teachers examine data to determine individual interventions and to guide...

Sample Material
Video
04/14/2014
299 views
Additional Goals for Improving Instruction

Additional Goals for Improving Instruction

Listen to two elementary principals describe their schools' focus for improving instruction. These schools focused on reading, writing, and math, and centering instruction on state...

School Example
Audio
04/14/2014
221 views

District Reflection: Identifying the School Turnaround Principal

At the district level, use this questionnaire to help evaluate principal candidates (including the current principals) to lead a turnaround effort.

Tool
Document
04/14/2014
617 views

Leadership Needs Assessment

The questions and chart in this tool can be used to assess the need for immediate changes in leadership strategies to enable the beginning of a turnaround process and the school’s readiness for...

Tool
Document
04/14/2014
668 views

School Principal Self-Reflection: Leadership Strategies

Use this worksheet for self-reflection if you are interested in modifying existing leadership strategies in the following areas: communication with staff, instructional leadership, and connections...

Tool
Document
04/14/2014
1086 views

Staff Meeting Agendas

School staff use this sample agenda for bi-monthly staff meetings. The agenda provides a guide for principals to organize staff meetings and to provide time for teacher teams to work together...

Sample Material
Document
04/14/2014
648 views
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