High Schools That Work Initiative (HSTW)

High Schools That Work (HSTW) was originally created in 1987 by the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) in partnership with a consortium of eleven states. High Schools That Work has been nationally recognized as the nation’s fastest growing, whole school reform initiative with data to show it works. HSTW sites provide a program of study that includes both academic courses and modern career and technical studies to prepare all students for both broad career fields and further education.

HSTW came to SW Ohio in 1998, through the work of William E. Lambert. He utilized School-to-Work funding to support six high school sites in investigating the model. A team from each of these sites wrote a unique HSTW model blueprint that would enable them to implement the model in their high school or career-technical center.

The HSTW initiative is a comprehensive approach to high performance schools that complements and supports the educational goals of Ohio. As a research and assessment-based reform initiative, HSTW sites are guided by a framework of goals, key practices, and key conditions to improve school instruction and student achievement. The HSTW vision requires its schools to rethink the way they deliver learning, so that all children are successful. The initiative provides targeted professional development, networking with high performing sites, and regular feedback from expert professionals. A comprehensive assessment allows staffs to track their progress.

Ohio High Schools That Work KEY Practices

HSTW schools implement 10 key practices to prepare students to graduate on time and thrive in postsecondary studies, careers and a changing global marketplace:

High Expectations

Create a culture of high expectations in every classroom and throughout the school.
MMGW – High Expectations

Teacher Collaboration

Provide teams of teachers with the training, time and support they need to work together to improve instruction.

Programs of Study

Ensure each student develops and completes a personalized program of study that leads to postsecondary and career success.
MMGW – Aligned Curriculum

Work-Based Learning

Provide each student with a continuum of real-world learning experiences that connect classroom and workplace learning.
MMGW – Engaging Each Student in Career Exploration

Integrated Curriculum

Teach academic content through the lens of real-world problems and projects.
MMGW – Literacy: Balanced Math; Inquiry-Based STEM Studies

Guidance and Advisement

Offer guidance and advisement that empower students to pursue a full range of career and college options after high school.
MMGW – Comprehensive System of Guidance

Access and Equity

Ensure that all students, including underrepresented and nontraditional students, have access to high-quality career pathways.
MMGW – Culture of High Expectations

Interventions and Enrichments

Provide students with the extra help or accelerated learning strategies they need to graduate college and be career ready.
MMGW – Systems of Support and Enrichment

Student Engagement

Use research-based instructional strategies and innovative technology practices to engage each student.
MMGW – Engaging Each Student in Career Exploration

Culture of Continuous Improvement

Engage the whole school community in continuously using data to identify problems and develop plans to solve them.
MMGW – Culture of Continuous Improvement

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