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.

The Challenges and Rewards of Being Bold!

The Challenges and Rewards of Being Bold!

Try not! Do! Or do not. There is no try.

—Yoda

LISTEN

As we walk away from Aspire High having said goodbye to Mr. Harper, Steve, and several other Lead Learners and students we met during our three-day visit, our tour guide Chris’s words stay with us: “We all try to look out for each other.” Although he was talking specifically about what happens when a student misses a class, it seems to apply to the entire approach taken at Aspire High: Everyone looks out for everyone else. Students are not competing against one another for grades or attention. Adults are not competing against one another for time or resources. Adults and students are ...

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