In Great Schools, students, teachers, and principals are deeply engaged in rigorous and meaningful academic work that results in academic achievement and enthusiasm for learning. Teachers, principals, and staff demonstrate high levels of professionalism and hold high expectations for their students, their colleagues, and themselves. Professional communities exist within the school (and within classrooms) and are critical for student achievement.

In Great Schools, families see themselves as valued partners in their children’s learning. The entire school community works to promote a positive school culture based on caring relationships, enthusiasm for learning, and appreciation for individuals. In Great Schools, mutual respect exists among and between administrators, faculty, staff, students, families, and community; and culturally and developmentally responsive practices provide a basis for instruction and characterize the community.