sharing best practices and strategies in school reform

Student and Teacher at New Technology High School

New Small High Schools and Small Learning Communities

Across the country practitioners are reinventing the high school experience by creating new small high schools and by transforming, or converting, large high schools into smaller learning communities.

Some of the best examples of these new high schools and converted high schools are profiled here.

New Small High Schools

Conversion High Schools

"Making the Case for Conversions in 2005: It's Getting Harder", the story of the learning journey at North Eugene High School, by Bob Pearlman

Sir Francis Drake High School, San Anselmo, CA
See Drake academics, Academy X projects, SeaDisc Academy, Student projects, Virtual Tour 

Autonomies for New Small Schools and Small Learning Communities

New Small Schools and Small Learning Communities, to be successful, often require autonomies in budget, staffing, work day/work year, governance, etc. These are sometimes accomplished through special agreements, pilot school status (in-district charter), dependent charter, or independent charter status. See the Autonomies Checklist for New Small Schools and Small Learning Communities.

Planning Guide for High Schools

Seeing the Future: A Planning Guide for High Schools offers a step-by-step planning process for new and restructuring high schools. Created by and for teachers, administrators, and community partner. Written by
Rob Riordan, Barbara Roche, Hilary Goldhammer, and David Stephen, 1999.

The NUHS Practitioner's Guide presents case studies of innovative schools and offers hands-on materials for integrated, project-based learning in the school, workplace, and community. The materials and cases were developed,
written, edited, adapted, and reviewed by staff of the New Urban High School
Project, working with NUHS site personnel and other practitioners.

Articles by Bob Pearlman

"Designing, and Making, the New American High School", Technos Quarterly, Spring, 2002

"Reinventing the High School Experience", Educational Leadership, April 2002

"Smarter Charters? Creating Boston's Pilot Schools", chapter in the book "Creating New Schools: How Small Schools Are Changing American Education", Teachers College Press, Fall 1999

Workshop on Designing New Small Schools and Small Learning Communities

Here are the resources that Elliot Washor and Bob Pearlman shared with the participants at the Building Learning Communities 2003 Conference, one of the premier international conferences on school innovation.