Designing Schools that Work

Organizing Resources Strategically for Student Success

This publication outlines the fundamental principles and process of Strategic School Design.

Through years of research and practice around school resource use, we have found that high-performing, high-growth schools are responding to the changing context in education by using people, time, technology, and money in ways that look significantly different than the status quo. While there is no one “right way” to organize resources, high-performing schools serving high-need students organize around six common design essentials:

  1. Empowering Curricula, Instruction, and Assessment

  2. Expert-led Collaboration and Professional Learning

  3. Talent Management and Teacher Leadership

  4. Personalized Time and Attention

  5. Responsive Learning Community

  6. Growth-oriented Adult Culture

Strategic designs don’t happen by accident. They happen because school leaders and their teams develop a deliberate strategy for organizing resources. We believe this paper—which has detailed stories of districts putting the strategies into action—is a great place to start for anyone looking to transform their school.

Designing Schools that Work (PDF)