Recently we chronicled. That led to a request for a similar compilation of inspiring elementary and middle schools. Far from exhaustive, our list includes schools that achieve extraordinary results, create powerful learning experiences, and/or have created innovative technology blends.
1. (EAA) operates six formerly low performing Detroit K-8 schools, including Nolan K-8 (pictured), that share an innovative platform and school model. See for more on this must visit turnaround revolution.
2. Burns Elementary/Middle School, also part of the EAA (and formerly the lowest performing school in Michigan), is operated by Matchbook Learning (and ) also using the Buzz platform with , , and .
3.in New Orleans ( ), is operated by . The lab rotation model incorporates , , and .
4.in Oakland ( ) uses , , , , and in a station rotation model. With 37 California schools, is one of the nation’s highest performing low-income school systems.
5. Aspire opened two schools in Memphis this year that will become K-8. Nicknamed( and ), the schools offer a “rich STEM-focused education, individualized technology rich learning opportunities, and explicit instruction in computer coding skills.” The rotation model features i-Ready and .
6.is the NYC anchor to Chris Whittle’s international network. Teachers at the elite private school use a combination of flipped classroom and station rotation strategies. They make extensive use of open content. is crafting a for qualitative social assessments.
7.is a project-based NGLC winning school in Hawthorne, California ( ). Students usually spend two days per week on campus and have another optional day on campus for electives.
8.is a Chicago literature, writing and technology magnet school. Visitors see students discussing, reading, thinking, exploring, questioning, experimenting, creating, and collaborating. Students have access to iPads and laptops and a full art and music program.
9.is a new Silicon Valley middle school that will grow into a 6-12 model. There are school model and platform. Like the EAA, Denali is great example of a network that has an innovative platform and school model and continue to iterate on both. The open platform dishes individualized skill building playlists to prepare students to standards-aligned project-based work.
10., Danville Kentucky, ( ) is a great turnaround story. The staff developed innovation plan focused on challenge-based learning and positive habits of mind. Check out this from superintendent Carmen Coleman.
11.is a NGLC winning flex middle school ( ) using , , , , , , and The day includes roughly a third online, a third in projects, and a third in advisory.
12.in Maine, students have Learning Goal Time (LGT) every day, with a full two hours once a week to work on assignments and get the extra help they need. Chris Sturgis has featured the school on and in .
13., Alpha Public Schools, ( ) opened last year in San Jose. Alpha uses , , and content on the platform with and assessments. Students spend about 50% of their time in the station rotation model online.
14.in Oakland ( ) is one of the blended learning pilot projects supported by the and . Madison teachers use a two-group in-class rotation model. Math content includes DreamBox, , and .
15.is a NYC game-based charter middle school ( ). Game-based content includes , , and .
16.( ) is part of ‘s to create an and extend the reach of the best teachers. A from Romain Bertrand ( ) outlines five lessons from their efforts to personalize math instruction and notes that “ or help you better know what each of your students really need.”
Elementary + Middle Pairs
17.in San Diego ( ) is probably the best example of a high-engagement cohort model secondary school. Teachers at feeder schools Explorer Elementary and High Tech Middle frame great projects and expect students to show what they know on a regular basis. There are also great HTH middle schools in North San Diego County and Chula Vista ( ).
18.(East of Columbus Ohio) include a K-12 STEM network that includes Baldwin Road Junior High and Herbert Mills Elementary and Summit Road Elementary.
19.Middle School in Reynoldsburg ( ) is a blended model powerd by and . Content partners include , , and .
20., north of Charlotte North Carolina, is a well known 1:1 district with an interesting configuration: three K-3 schools, two 4-6 schools, and a 7-8 middle. In Mooresville, See Mark Edward’s book, .
21. The 130 school(NTN) includes a growing number of project-based STEM-focused middle and elementary schools. The in San Jose, California is home to , a NTN demonstration site, and Katherine Smith Elementary.
22. The 30 K-12 schools of theprepare south Texas students for college with the rigorous program. IDEA McAllen ( ) is a K-6 school featuring , , , and . Direct Instruction in reading is augmented by a blended lab.
23.in Memphis are operated by ( ). Students spend seven and a half hours of their nine hour day in a blended rotation environment using Mac laptops and , , , , and .
24.( ) has eight Bay Area high-poverty high-performing blended elementary schools. Primary grades rotate through a lab for a quarter of their eight hour day. Intermediate grades use a class rotation model. Content includes , , , and .
25.in LA ( ) was the first blended school in the KIPP network. The station rotation model runs on a Education Elements and Agilix platform and features , , and .
26., in Washington, D.C, is a NGLC winner that will serve K-1 students next year. They plan to grow into a K-12 school in DC with a four-tiered staffing approach (from resident to master teacher) and small-group blended learning instruction.
27.is a cool private elementary school in Austin ( ) and one of the best examples of self-directed learning.
28.is with 22 elementary, middle, and K-8 schools in NYC. Visit to learn about sophisticated teacher development, inspiring science instruction, and a powerful culture. CEO , “We have a culture of daily mastery–we believe children should intellectually struggle with challenging content and the teachers should insist on mastery.”
29.operates 25 schools in Brooklyn, Providence, and Connecticut. The flagship Amistad Academy, “opened in New Haven in 1999 to prove that urban students can achieve at the same high levels as their affluent suburban counterparts.” When I mention charter management organizations as the big breakthrough of the last decade, AF is at the top of that list.
30.is an award winning magnet K-5 school in north Las Vegas ( ). Grade level teams coordinate a long list of .
31.is the highest performing new elementary school in California and the anchor of Navigator Schools. The ST Math program is and the lab rotation model is .
32.is one of three west of Milwaukee. The open plan multiage blend features high engagement projects. They also figured out what to do with those .
33.( ) was the lowest performing elementary school in Santa Barbara district until they launched a blended math program powered by DreamBox Learning. The adaptive math program is used in a station rotation model.
34. Cornerstoneis a k-6 school in the same facility as in Detroit (and and ). Cornerstone features a lab rotation in primary grades and a class rotation in intermediate grades–and a strong culture and well developed character development program K-12.
35. All students at, Bellingham Washington, are learning Chinese. Students are able to work at their own pace, and benefit from individualized instruction, access from home, and coaching from a native speaker. King Elementary was featured in recent paper, .
36., Fairfax County Virginia (also featured in the world language paper) expanded their existing Spanish curriculum in blended classrooms. After 13 weeks, 90% for the students improved oral proficiency by at least one level. They also used to create an independent study program for languages like Chinese.
37.( ) was a twitter suggestion and we’ve added it to our must visit list. Students in this grade 3-5 multiage charter school use trimester targets to set weekly and monthly academic goals for themselves to guide their learning. Each day students stop, drop, reflect for the last 40 minutes of the day.
38.( ) include a French, Spanish and Chinese immersion elementary schools, and plan to open an IB secondary school next year. We agree: .
What schools inspire you? After publishing on EdWeek, we received a few more submissions:
- @MentorSuper invited us to visit #catalyst in Mentor Schools for what is becoming a regional blended learning development site with @EdElements
- @gsinders reminded me of
- @JasonMMarkey reminded me of National Teachers Academy in Chicago
- Neil Shorthouse reminded me of in Newark
- Steve McCrea suggested in Miami. It features cooperative teaching & learning, integration of the arts, advisories, personal learning plans, portfolios & portfolio interviews, multiple domain assessments, end-of year exhibitions, eight grade internships, and capstone projects
DreamBox, Compass Learning, Curriculum Associates, MIND Research Institute, Connections Education, and Rosetta Stone, are Getting Smart Advocacy Partners. Edmodo, eduClipper, Mangahigh, NoRedInk, and MasteryConnect, are a portfolio company of Learn Capital where Tom is a partner.