Five Proven Practices
There are five essential practices, among others, that FES schools build into their improvement plans:
1. Students as Stakeholders: FES believes that students must take ownership in raising performance through FES Clubs, where high school students mentor middle schoolers and middle schoolers mentor elementary students, and all students engage in service learning.
2. Community Learning Centers: FES schools create community learning centers that bring the community more into the school and the school more into the community by expanding the usage of and access to the school through initiatives such as after-school, evening, and weekend activities and programs.
3. Service Learning: FES schools commit to developing a service learning component that provides students an opportunity to give something back to their community. Mary Edwards, principal of El Reno High in Oklahoma, captured this need: "We must help our young people strive to do something for someone else just because they can. We need to encourage them to strive for intrinsic rewards instead of always needing an extrinsic reward."
4. College Partnerships: FES helps schools strengthen partnerships with local and regional colleges, essential to broadening student learning experiences while enhancing professional development opportunities through such initiatives as mentoring and tutoring, early awareness, and faculty exchanges.
5. FES Team: FES teams manage their school's improvement process, and as such, the team participates in the initial planning/training workshop and FES program directors continually work to expand and strengthen the team.