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5 Sensational School Success Stories

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Harry S. Truman High School


Independence, MO

Every year, the International Center for Leadership in Education chooses individual schools to serve as role models for the rest of the nation to follow. This year, only 20 schools were chosen — Truman High School was one of them.

Its journey to becoming a model school started with the High School Task Force, a group of 50 people made up of parents, teachers, administrators, and community members. The Truman staff took the 24 recommendations developed from the High School Task Force, and began implementing them into the curriculum. They sought to strengthen relationships with students and parents to help get everyone involved, and revamped instruction for all students through lesson protocols, literacy across the curriculum, and by making the instruction seem relevant to the students.

The work done by the Task Force has paid off. ACT scores have steadily risen, and currently stand at 22, with a 60 percent participation rate. Only 50 percent of incoming freshmen test at grade level when they begin high school, but that number jumps up to 70 percent of seniors testing at grade level when they graduate. And perhaps best of all — the 4-year graduation rate has risen over the past few years and now stands at 89 percent.

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