Good Rural High Schools: Principles and Standards

Last Updated: April 01, 2004

Principles and Standards

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Principles and standards for good high schools developed by the Rural School and Community Trust.

Principle 1. Curriculum and Instruction.
Students do sustained academic work that draws upon and contributes to the place in which they live. Content and strategies are rigorous, authentic and expansive, engaging every student in a personalized learning environment at the highest level of his or her capabilities and preparing each child well for college, work and citizenship.

Principle 2. Community Connectedness.
The school is situated and structured such that it is connected to the community on multiple levels. The school and community actively collaborate to make the local place a good one in which to learn, work, live and play.

Principle 3. Democratic Practice.
Schools mirror the democratic values they seek to instill. All stakeholders' voices are heard, validated and honored in the decision-making processes affecting them.

Principle 4. Supporting Structures.
School policies, calendars and resources are arranged to maximize community involvement, ensure student academic success, and provide teachers the means to succeed.

Principle 5. Staffing.
School staffing resources are adequate; staff is competent, caring and aligned to meet stated goals.

Principle 6. Facilities.
Facilities are clean, safe, orderly, and well equipped to support rigorous academic goals and co-curricular activities.

Principle 7. Leadership.
School leaders provide competent and knowledgeable management that supports teaching and learning at high levels.