The ideal school is closer than you think. Welcome to Aspire High! The world’s best high school may be a dream, but it’s not out of reach. It’s a model drawn from research, observations, focus groups, and interviews, and each aspect of its success exists in a real school today. In this book, you’ll discover what makes Aspire High’s culture of aspiration work. Whether you’re a policymaker or district leader who can build a school from the ground up or an educator aiming for incremental change, you’ll find your next steps, including: • A whole new way to work with all stakeholders • Research and action for best practices, from physical layout to curriculum • Principles for designing practices that encourage student aspirations • Messages from thought leaders inside and outside the field of education Aspirational culture is good for the whole school community—and beyond. Make your school a dynamic place that promotes aspirations and meaningful learning for all.

Involving Parents in Meaningful and Productive Ways

Involving Parents in Meaningful and Productive Ways

Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.

—Anne Frank


We realize that we have likely matched the principal’s 15,000 steps as well as we follow Mr. Harper to the Inspiration Café. Along the way, Zawadi replaced Matthew O’Malley, and then Mariana replaced Zawadi. The students talked to us about what they liked best about Aspire High and what they thought could be improved. Mr. Harper asked as many questions as we did, seemingly not wanting to lose an opportunity to interact with students. At one point, Mr. Harper learned that Mariana was struggling academically ...

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