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Building Blocks of High-Performing Schools

One of the most important responsibilities board members and superintendents have is to ensure that all the students in their districts have every opportunity to succeed. Research shows that there is no silver bullet, no single thing a school can do to ensure high student performance. Instead, the research demonstrates high-performing schools have a number of common characteristics that need to be present in order to have effective schools.

As part of the strategic plan developed by MASB, the board of directors included a strategy that would inform all board members of the researched-based characteristics that contribute to high-performing schools.

Recognizing the importance of the superintendent and board's role in establishing goals for the district and in allocating funds to support these goals, the nine research-based characteristics are listed below so your team can use these to make decisions about goals, policies and budgets for your districts.

MASB is pleased to introduce the nine proven characteristics of effective schools. For many of you, this overview is a reminder of what you already have implemented in your districts. It is our hope, however, that you regularly reference these characteristics during your discussions at the board table. Having an understanding and common language of school improvement concepts is the first step in achieving systemic educational reform.

Building Blocks of High-Performing Schools

Clear and Shared Focus
High Standards and Expectations for all Students
Effective School Leadership
High Levels of Collaboration and Communication
Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Aligned With Standards
Frequent Monitoring of Teaching and Learning
Focused Professional Development
Supportive Learning Environment
High Level of Parent and Community Involvement

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