Small Schools, Big Ideas: The Essential Guide to Successful School Transformation
by Mara Benitez, Jill Davidson, and Laura Flaxman
Small Schools, Big Ideas
(Jossey-Bass, 2009) showcases the achievements and wisdom of the CES network, powerfully communicating the efforts of CES educators, school leaders, students and community members as they work to create great schools for all students based on and inspired by the CES Common Principles. To learn more about Small Schools, Big Ideas
, read on.
Please visit our CES Benchmarks page
and our website
for additional resources from CES’ 25 years of educational transformation, and take time to explore CES ChangeLab
, a showcase of proven practices and successes from the CES Small Schools Network Mentor Schools.
Chapter 2: Facing the Challenges
CFV Self Assessment Tool
District self-audit that school system personnel can use to assess their readiness to embark on transformation effort.
Chapter 4: (Re)Designing a School
ARISE Staff Habits of Mind Rubric
ARISE High School Curriculum Guide to Developing Students’ Habits of Mind and Heart.
Steps for Action Planning
CES Small Schools Project steps for action planning for new school design teams.
Capital City Public Charter School Design Team Timeline
The monthly planning timeline that guided the design team of Capital City Public Charter School’s Upper School.
Chapter 5: Cultivating a Learning Community
Fenway High School Organizational Chart – to be added
Chapter 6: Transformational Leadership
El Colegio Site Management Team Description
A description of the leadership roles in a democratically led small school.
Leadership Paradoxes Common in New and Small Schools
Reflection published in CES’s journal Horace
on the challenges of new small school leadership.
Weekly Cycle of Governance
Cycle of Inquiry Action Plan Template
Created by CES National, this document provides an overview of inquiry-propelled action planning for school improvement.
Boston Arts Academy Governance Structure
A description of the stakeholders in Boston Arts Academy’s oversight and governance systems.
Chapter 7: Teaching and Learning
Quest High School Authentic Instruction Rubric
This rubric can help educators plan authentic instruction or have dialogue concerning instruction that has occurred.
Quest High School Writing Rubric
Detail rubric for evaluating written work from Quest High School.
Wildwood School Project Planning Tool
A guide to project planning and execution from Wildwood School to inform and direct project-based learning.
High Tech High Project Planning Tool
Guide to developing a project that explores the essential question, “What does it mean to 'go green' and how can we contribute to a 'greener' society?"
Chapter 8: School Practices and Culture
James Baldwin School Faculty Handbook
This document codifies school culture and norms for school staff development and discussion.
Chapter 9: Demonstration of Mastery
Parker Criteria For Excellence
These are the standards in reading, writing, listening, oral presentation, research, artistic expression, scientific investigation, mathematical problem solving and communication, systems thinking, technology, wellness, Spanish, and habits of learning that Parker School sets for students and around which Parker educators and students structure their work.
Parker Sample Transcript
This is the Parker School’s student assessment tool, detailing student growth, successes, and challenges.
School of the Future Exhibition Rubrics
Rubric for School of the Future historical research—presented and written work.
A 2006 report detailing the success of the CES approach to education and school restructuring.