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What makes a 'good school'?

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Introduction

What makes a 'good school'? For as many years as there has been a place called 'school', parents have been seeking ways to fashion the best educational experience for their children - the place that would provide students with the best possible education and send them forth fully prepared to meet life's challenges. Everyone wants top-quality schools. The issue of education tops poll after poll when the public is asked to choose areas of concern and importance. But what, exactly, does a 'good school' look like? What makes the difference between success and failure? Research done by the Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards and Student Testing, a research unit of the University of California at Los Angeles, points to several qualities of truly good schools: * Strong and professional administrators and teachers. * A broad curriculum available to all students. * A philosophy that says all children can learn if taught, coupled with high expectations for all students. * A school climate that is conductive to learning a good school is safe, clean, caring, and well organized. * An on going assessment system that supports good instructions. * A high level of parent and community involvement and support. Good schools have strong administrators who lead instruction at the school and know in depth the school's curriculum and instruction provided in each grade level. Help teachers develop instructional strategies and techniques and encourages teamwork. Make time for in-service training, and seminars for the school's entire staff. ...read more.

Middle

In good schools, high expectations for student achievement are observed throughout the school. The surroundings of the school give a message to all that enter that academic achievement is valued in this place. In good schools learning is promoted as the most important reason for attending school. High standards for class work are carefully set with students and are maintained on a consistent basis. Class time is used as learning time and few interruptions are permitted. Homework is assigned with a purpose, usually to reinforce a concept taught or to give additional practice. Homework is always checked reviewed and feedback is given. High standards for classroom behavior are established and adhered to in order to permit class work to proceed on an established schedule. In keeping with the high expectations of each teacher and each class, awards for outstanding work are presented at assemblies and community meetings, this is done to advertise and maintain the goals established for a high achieving student body. Improvement in achievement is high on the list of priorities, and resources to assist teachers and students are continuously made available. Learning requires time and a conductive atmosphere. Since learning is as much a social activity as it is an individual activity, much of what students learn comes from interacting with each other people. Good schools develop a social and academic climate that gives students a strong feeling of belonging; students feel proud of their school, feel they belong, and feel they are wanted and nurtured by the school. ...read more.

Conclusion

Speak well of the school. Take stock periodically to determine if they, their children and the school are together in their plans for their child's future. Recognize that children spend only a portion of the day at school and that much more of their time is spent at home; therefore, much can and should be done at home to increase their child's learning. Good schools are an important part of a community. Recognized leaders of the community often share their talents and experience with a school, thereby projecting positive images and serving as role models for students. The utilization of office space by agencies, corporations and businesses to display outstanding work accomplished by students makes a positive display of the togetherness that exits between the school and the community. Good schools know that they and the community are one. Failure on the part of either can bring discredit to the other. Good schools receive broad support from their communities and identify with the community and its agencies in multiple ways and on a continuous basis. In good schools, social agencies are active participants in the life of the school, often providing additional counseling, tutoring services, and food and clothing to the needy. Members of the community visit the school regularly and participate in assemblies, often addressing some of the critical issues of the community and indicating where and how help can be obtained. Good schools make every effort to schedule events at times and places that are convenient for parents and encourage maximum participation by the entire school community. Wong Hui Chyn 10I 1 English Coursework ...read more.

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