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High Schools That Work/Tech. Centers That Work

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About High Schools That Work

High Schools That Work (HSTW) is a whole-school, research and assessment-based reform effort for grades 9 through 12 established in 1987 by the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB).

This initiative offers a framework of goals, key practices, and key conditions for accelerating student learning and raising standards. Its recommended actions give direction as schools work to improve both academic and career education. According to An Educators’ Guide to School Wide Reform that was issued by the Washington-based American Institute for Research, HSTW is one of only three popular school reform models with strong evidence supporting its efficacy in improving student achievement.

More than 1,100 schools or systems in the consortium of states function as HSTW sites. Missouri joined the HSTW consortium in February 2001, because it connects well with state efforts to upgrade graduation requirements. HSTW, which integrates academic and career education areas, can serve as one of the multiple pathways by which students can meet state standards.

During the 2007-2008 School Year, Missouri also began funding grants for schools seeking to implement two parallel SREB school improvement initiatives, Making Middle Grades Work (MMGW) and Technology Centers That Work (TCTW), an enhanced design of HSTW and has been tailored to meet the unique needs of shared-time area career centers.

Entering the 2009-2010 School Year, Missouri’s network of schools involved with HSTW, TCTW, and MMGW totals 72 sites: 52 high schools, 12 area career centers, and 8 middle schools. Following is a list of schools, with a notation of their program affiliation.

• Arcadia Valley Career Technical Center (Ironton, MO), TCTW
• Arcadia Valley High School (Ironton, MO), HSTW
• Arcadia Valley Middle School (Ironton, MO), MMGW
• Ava High School, HSTW
• Bakersfield High School, HSTW
• Bakersfield Middle School, MMGW
• Belle High School, HSTW
• Bismarck High School, HSTW
• Boonslick Technical Education Center (Boonville, MO), TCTW
• Bowling Green High School, HSTW
• Bunker High School, HSTW
• Cape Girardeau Career and Technical Center, TCTW
• Carrollton High School, HSTW
• Carthage Technical Center, TCTW
• Caruthersville High School, HSTW
• Cass Career Center (Harrisonville, MO), TCTW
• Cassville High School, HSTW
• Central High School (Park Hills, MO), HSTW
• Central Middle School (Park Hills, MO), MMGW
• Crest Ridge High School (Centerview, MO), HSTW
• Davis H. Hart Career Center (Mexico, MO), TCTW*
• East Newton High School (Granby, MO), HSTW
• Ervin Middle School (Hickman Mills C-1 School District, Kansas City), MMGW
• Farmington High School, HSTW
• Fatima High School (Westphalia, MO), HSTW
• Festus High School, HSTW
• Fredericktown High School, HSTW
• Hazelwood-Central High School, HSTW
• Hazelwood-East High School, HSTW
• Hazelwood-West High School, HSTW
• Hickman Mills High School (Hickman Mills C-1 School District, Kansas City), HSTW
• Herndon Career Center (Raytown, MO), TCTW
• Holden High School, HSTW
• Hollister High School, HSTW
• Jackson High School, HSTW
• Kennett Career and Technical Center, TCTW
• Kennett High School, HSTW
• Kennett Middle School, MMGW
• Lee’s Summit High School, HSTW
• Lee’s Summit-West High School, HSTW
• Lexington High School, HSTW
• Mehlville High School, HSTW
• Monett High School, HSTW
• North County Technical High School (Florissant, MO), HSTW
• Odessa High School, HSTW
• Perryville Area Career and Technical Center, TCTW
• Perryville High School, HSTW
• Pleasant Lea Middle School (Lee’s Summit), MMGW
• Pike/Lincoln Technical Center (Eolia, MO0, HSTW
• Pleasant Hill High School, HSTW
• Poplar Bluff High School, HSTW
• Potosi High School, HSTW
• Raymore-Peculiar High School, HSTW
• Ruskin High School (Hickman Mills C-1 School District, Kansas City), HSTW
• Seneca High School, HSTW
• Smith Hale Middle School (Hickman Mills C-1 School District, Kansas City), MMGW
• South Central Area Career Center (West Plains, MO), TCTW
• South County Technical High School (Sunset Hills, MO), HSTW
• Southwest High School (Washburn, MO), HSTW
• Sullivan High School, HSTW
• Summit Lakes Middle School (Lee’s Summit, MO), MMGW
• Summit Technology Academy (Lee’s Summit, MO), TCTW*
• Tipton High School, HSTW
• Troy Buchanan High School, HSTW
• Truman High School (Independence, MO), HSTW
• Waynesville High School, HSTW
• Webb City High School, HSTW
• West County High School (Leadwood, MO), HSTW
• William Chrisman High School (Independence, MO), HSTW
• Willow Springs High School, HSTW
• Winfield High School, HSTW.

* Davis H. Hart Career Center and Summit Tech Academy have entered into direct agreements with SREB and are presently independent of the DESE HSTW/TCTW/MMGW funding stream, but are considered as part of the State’s network of sites.

High Schools That Work Goals

  • To increase significantly the math, science, and communication, problem-solving and technical achievement and the application of learning for all students to the national average of all students.
  • To blend the essential content of traditional college preparatory studies--mathematics, science, and language arts--with quality career/technical and technical studies by creating conditions that support school leaders and teachers in carrying out certain key practices.
  • To advance state and local policies and leadership initiatives necessary to sustain a continuous school-improvement effort.

High Schools That Work Key Conditions

  • An organizational structure and process ensuring continuous involvement by school administrators and teachers in planning strategies to achieve the key practices.
  • A school principal with strong, effective leadership who supports, encourages, and actively participates with the faculty in implementing the key practices.
  • A system superintendent and school board members who support administrators and teachers in carrying out the key practices.  This commitment includes financial support for instructional materials, time for teachers to meet and plan together, and six to eight days per year of staff development on using the key practices to improve student learning.
  • Leadership from the superintendent and school board to involve employers and postsecondary institutions in the design and implementation of a school-based and work-based program to prepare students for employment and postsecondary education.
  • A commitment from the school board to support the school in replacing the general track with a more demanding academic core and either an academic or career/technical concentration.

High Schools That Work Key Practices

  • High Expectations – setting higher expectations and getting more students to meet them.
  • Career/Technical Studies – increasing access to intellectually challenging career/technical studies, with a concentration on using high-level mathematics, science, language arts and problem-solving skills in the modern workplace and in preparation for continued learning.
  • Academic Studies – increasing access to academic studies that teach the essential concepts from the college-preparatory curriculum by encouraging students to use academic content and skills to address real-world projects and problems.
  • Program of Study – having students complete a challenging program of study with an upgraded academic core and a concentration.
  • Work-based Learning – giving students and their parents the choice of a system that integrates school-based and work-based learning.  The system should span high school and postsecondary studies and should be planned by educators, employers and employees.
  • Teachers Working Together – having an organization, structure and schedule giving academic and career/technical teachers the time to plan and deliver integrated instruction aimed at teaching high-level academic and technical content.
  • Students Actively Engaged – getting every student involved in rigorous and challenging learning.
  • Guidance – involving each student and his or her parents in a guidance and advising system that ensures the completion of an accelerated program of study with an in-depth academic or career/technical concentration.
  • Extra Help – providing a structured system of extra help to enable students who may lack adequate preparation to complete an accelerated program of study that includes high-level academic and technical content.
  • Keeping Score – using student assessment and program evaluation data to improve continuously the school climate, organization, management, curricula and instruction to advance student learning and to recognize students who meet both curriculum and performance 2008 targets.

High Schools That Work Site Contacts

High Schools That Work (HSTW) is an effort-based, data-intensive school improvement initiative based on the conviction that most students can master rigorous academic and career-technical studies if school leaders and teachers create an environment that motivates students to make the effort to succeed.

The Division of Career Education awards grants to schools through a competitive procurement process for HSTW implementation.  Grants are reviewed annually for renewal consideration with a maximum funding cycle not to exceed five years.

HSTW, MMGW & TCTW Site Contact list  (pdf)

High Schools That Work Staff Contacts

Janice Rehak 
E-mail: janice.rehak@dese.mo.gov
(573) 526-4900
(573) 526-4261
Mailing Address:
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
P.O. Box 480
Jefferson City, MO  65102-0480
Street Address:
205 Jefferson Street
Jefferson City, MO 65101

Technology Centers That Work (TCTW) Implementation Grants Available

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has partnered with the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) for several years to assist schools interested in implementing the Technical Centers That Work (TCTW) initiative.  The TCTW school improvement initiative was formed in 2007 to help career and technology centers identify and implement the actions needed to produce graduates who will be leaders in their selected careers.  

Fifteen schools participated in the TCTW grant program during the 2015-16 school year.  Many of these schools incorporated High Schools That Work (HSTW) and Making Middle Grades Work (MMGW), initiatives similar to TCTW, into their projects. Some integrated high quality problem-based learning while others focused on aligning English language arts and mathematics into their programs. All of these schools developed and are implementing a plan to better serve their students and align academic and CTE programs.

A competitive Invitation for Grant Applications (IGA) is currently open seeking to secure new grant recipients for the implementation of Technology Centers That Work (TCTW).  Eligible applicants are public shared-time area career centers wishing to implement TCTW as a stand-alone school improvement model, or in partnership with a "feeder" public comprehensive high school which would begin implementation of High Schools That Work and/or public middle school which would implement Making Middle Grades Work

The deadline for receipt of proposals to this IGA is 1:00 pm, Wednesday, May 18, 2016.

Full execution of any and all grant awards made as a result of the IGA process is contingent upon continued availability of funding.

HSTW/MMGW/TCTW Online Newsletters of Best Practices

High Schools That Work is pleased to announce a series of newsletters highlighting best practices. These newsletters contain information about successful actions schools across the nation are taking to join hands-on and heads-on learning in ways that increase student motivation and achievement.

Topics include lessons learned from students and teachers at multiple-pathways schools; strategies for reorganizing schools into small learning communities and career academies; how schools are combining academic and career/technical studies through real-world projects; designing a freshman academy; and establishing career academies for middle grades students.

Visit the SREB Web site to download the Best Practices Newsletter at www.sreb.org.

If you would like to add anyone to our announcement list about the newsletters, please send names, titles, schools, locations and e-mail addresses to Leonard Wandu at leonard.wandu@sreb.org. If you do not want to receive further announcements, please notify Leonard.