Deeper Learning: School Organization & Design

What are the school structures and practices that encourage high-quality teaching as well as student persistence and success in the pursuit of deeper learning?

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New approaches to organizing and designing schools are informed by decades of research showing how schools designed to support strong interpersonal relationships, coherent curriculum, and authentic instruction improve student achievement, graduation rates, and college success.

Building on this evidence, schools are rethinking structures to promote these critical connections. Examples include:

  • Smaller schools and learning communities, in which teachers work in teams with shared groups of students organized by grade levels or themes. 
  • Advisory systems, in which small groups of students meet regularly with a teacher—often over multiple years—who builds community, links to their families, and addresses academic and social-emotional issues.
  • Grade-to-grade looping, in which a teacher stays with the same class for more than one year.
  • Collaborative planning and professional development time for teachers who work in grade-level and disciplinary teams to create a strong coherent curriculum and address student needs as they arise.
  • Before, after, and during school time used for extra supports, enrichment, and externships to strengthen motivation and learning.
  • Connections with parents and the broader community through practices such as parent-teacher home visits and community-school partnerships.
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E.g., 06/25/2022
E.g., 06/25/2022