Instructional Alignment

North Carolina’s innovative schools are designed from the ground up, with the focus squarely on the needs of students. From the simplest things, like schedules that encourage students to get extra support, to the complex, like teaching content and skills by using authentic real-world projects, educators in innovative schools ask first how students benefit. All schools that partner with NC New Schools follow a proven set of strategies — through the Design Principles and aligned instructional strategies — that are all focused on the ultimate goal of ensuring that all students graduate well prepared.

Design Principles

Schools that prepare all students for college, careers and life share more than high graduation rates. They share a set of expectations and effective practices captured by six essential Design Principles, which guide our work and provide a foundation for effective change.

NC New Schools supports educators in innovative schools to:

  • Believe in a common set of high standards and expectations that ensure every student graduates ready for college — schools maintain a common set of standards for all in order to eliminate the harmful consequences of tracking and sorting students.
  • Uphold common standards for high quality, rigorous instruction that promote powerful teaching and learning.
  • Demonstrate personalization — educators must know students well to help them achieve academically.
  • Redefine professionalism, creating a shared vision so that all school staff take responsibility for the success of every student.
  • Work from a purposeful design where the use of time, space and resources ensures that best practices become common practice.
  • Empower shared leadership embedded in a culture of high expectations and a collaborative work environment to ensure the success of each student.

Aligned Instructional Strategies

Read. Write. Think. Talk.
Every class. Every day.

In order to be ready for college, careers and life, every student in North Carolina must be actively engaged in meaningful learning, in every class, every day. Walk into one of our partner classrooms and you’ll see teachers talking less and students talking more. Students will be working together, discussing and sharing ideas, challenging each other, solving problems, and reflecting on their own learning.

To facilitate students’ learning, teachers in our partner schools and districts utilize instructional strategies that give students of all skill levels access to complex information. They are experts who design and refine plans for learning based on clear learning goals, content expertise and a personal knowledge of their students. They reflect on their own practice, both individually and with colleagues, in order to make improvements and ensure the success of all students.

At North Carolina New Schools, we support teachers and leaders to create these dynamic learning environments through aligned instructional strategies. Our professional learning modules provide a set of shared tools and a common language for engaging students and facilitating learning. We support teachers’ implementation of these strategies through a cycle of professional learning, personalized instructional coaching, planning and reflection.

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