There are many types of great schools, but they all have some things in common. At GreatPhillySchools, we believe that in a great elementary school, middle school or high school, students are:
Learning and achieving. Students are in classrooms with effective teachers who are supported by a strong leader. The adults in a great school are responsible for the achievement of all students, and they ensure that all students are learning and growing. They make it a priority to help students who are struggling. At a minimum, students in a great school are reading and doing math on grade level.
Safe. A strong culture and a positive climate encourage learning. Parents and caregivers should feel comfortable sending a child or teen to school every day. At a minimum, there should be few serious or violent incidents at a school.
Engaged. Students are engaged in their education, and parents and caregivers are committed and involved. The principal, teachers and staff communicate with parents and caregivers and welcome involvement in the school. Students like going to school, and when there they pay attention to what their teachers and classmates are saying. At a minimum, students are coming to school every day.
Equally supported. In a great school, the principal, teachers and staff believe that all students can learn and expect that all students will achieve, regardless of race, income or ethnicity. Beware of schools and teachers who make excuses for a lack of learning.
And in a great high school, students are:
Graduating and going on to college. If students are on track and engaged, they are completing high school prepared for their next step. After attending a great high school, students are continuing their education at four-year colleges, community colleges and vocational schools.