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Drawing on Success: Effective Practices at West Brooklyn Community High School

August 2013

“It is hardly a coincidence that the principal maintains a powerful belief in the intellectual capacity of her teaching staff. She expects teachers to carefully plan their work so that it will constructively engage students and to treat education not as lectures on abstract information— a format that alienates and bores students—but rather as guided discovery of the meaning behind and purpose of what we learn.”

–Effective Practice at West Brooklyn Community High School

Effective Practice at West Brooklyn Community High School was written in collaboration with Jobs for the Future (JFF) to share the factors contributing to that transfer school’s striking success serving overage and under-credited students. The 11-chapter book highlights practices at West Brooklyn Community High School (WBCHS), including the hiring of staff and enrollment of students, attendance outreach, counseling interventions, and family engagement.

The book examines the core systems, structures, and practices that support this work and make WBCHS a successful transfer school. Appendices accompany each chapter with resources including sample protocols, template agendas, checklists, or forms to use at each step of the process.

Chapters include:

  1. Five Ideas That Set the Tone
  2. Hiring Decisions: Getting the Right People
  3. Instructional Staff Development: Guided Discovery
  4. Intake: Introducing Students to a New School Culture
  5. Programming and Scheduling: Course Selection and Student Schedules
  6. Grades and Assessment: Pushing Expectations Through Backward Design
  7. Counseling Interventions: Reconnecting Students to Their Education
  8. Attendance Outreach: Connecting to Student Lives
  9. Family Engagement: Triangulating for Support
  10. Internships: Challenging and Motivating Through Opportunity
  11. Data: Using Numbers to Focus on People

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