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Model Schools

Each year the International Center for Leadership in Education hosts a national conference to showcase schools that are exceeding expectations and have earned the distinction, “Model School.” These schools present their successful practices, give insight into their success, and share their research about what makes a difference in their school. The Successful Practices Network is a partner with the International Center in this effort to promote and share what works in schools from across the country.


What is a Model School?

A Model School has shown continuous and rapid growth to become a high performing school. These schools demonstrate unique practices or innovative solutions that have allowed them to achieve this status.


Every Model School who presents at the Model Schools Conference also becomes a member of the Successful Practices Network. As such, all Network members are able to connect, network and learn from the Model Schools and their successes. For more information on each Model School and information on how to connect with them, please see the Case Study section.


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What criteria is used to determine if a school is a Model School?

Model Schools are selected from hundreds of applicants who meet the initial standards for consideration. Schools wishing to apply for this distinction should review the criteria and ensure that their credentials meet these levels. If your school is considering applying and would like more information, these two documents will be helpful.  

Access these resources for a full explanation of the criteria:

Model School Selection Criteria FINAL.doc

The Path to Model Schools Webinar


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How can I apply to present at the Model Schools Conference?

Schools wishing to apply to present at a Model Schools Conference must complete an application. This application is the first step in the process. After the International Center receives your application, it is reviewed against the criteria (see link above) and evaluated.  Schools will then be contacted by an International Center representative to begin a more in depth analysis.

MSC Application.doc


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Where can I learn more about the Model Schools?

At every Model Schools Conference, attendees get access to Cast Studies of the schools that are presenting. These Case Studies typically are 10-12 pages long each, or about 400 pages total each year. These Case Studies provide detailed descriptions of the type of school, analysis of success, and information about initiatives  and programs that have made a difference.


Click on the “Case Studies” icon above to search and access the Case Studies from the last five Model Schools Conferences. 

For more information on how Model School Case Studies are developed and used Click Here


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Professional Development Center

When you click this icon you will access a search of the SPN site for all resources related to and created by Model Schools. To find a specific type of resource, start by selecting the resource type you want in the PD center and use the search engine on that page.


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Model Schools Case Studies

Each year SPN works with the International Center for Leadership in education to identify schools across the country that will present at the national Model Schools Conference on their best practices and rapidly improving schools. Each school is responsible for the creation of a case study to share qualitative and quantitative data and best practices. Organized around the dimensions of the Learning Criteria, this research provides a comprehensive look at that leadership the instruction and the innovations that have led to significant student growth. Case studies align to other resources on SPN’s website through the schools they feature and the focus topics such as rigor/relevance and quadrant D leadership. These case studies are typically between 9 to 12 pages long and are fully downloadable to SPN members. Schools seeking innovative approaches and best practices use these case studies as windows in too similar schools that are achieving enviable results. SPN case studies also help facilitate conversation among schools as they seek out peers from whom to learn. SPN members are able to access five years of case studies from over 150 schools.



  • Single source database of model schools best practices.
  • Fully searchable catalog organized by “Models of” Topics, Grade Level, Year, Tags, and Keywords.
  • Model programs and implementation descriptions help school reformers find solutions.
  • Schools know who to contact and how to reach them at each Case Study school.

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