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Rural Schools Team Up for Success

Quail Lake Environmental Charter School, Sanger, Calif.

As one of whole child partner National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform’s California Schools to Watch, Quail Lake Environmental Charter School joins a commendable group of educational innovators. Located in Sanger, California, Quail Lake faces many of the same challenges commonly seen across small, rural schools. But with professional development and a collaborative strategy for instruction, Quail Lake and similar institutions in the area have come together and made significant progress in closing the achievement gap.

Middle School’s Vision Becomes Reality Through Strong Leadership

Franklin Middle School, Champaign, Ill.

"E2: To Exceed Expectations" is the vision of Franklin Middle School in Champaign, Ill., a recipient of the 2011 Breakthrough School Award from the MetLife Foundation and whole child partner National Association of Secondary School Principals.

Thanks to Principal Angela Smith's leadership, the school has created a positive environment focused on building strong relationships among the staff and students, collecting data through innovative methods that allow for effective responses to students' needs, and achieving excellence through collaborative leadership. Located in an economically challenged area with years of racial conflict and with 52 percent of the student body economically disadvantaged, 18 percent students with special needs, and 62 percent racial minorities, Franklin Middle School has transitioned from a rough past to an incredible present and a very bright future.

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Fast, Free, Online: The ASCD School Improvement Tool

Designed for use in schools and districts, the free ASCD School Improvement Tool offers educators a comprehensive and completely online needs assessment.

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