“Abeo coaches are developing sustainable leadership practices across our system so that each student will graduate prepared for college, career, and citizenship.” Dr. Polly Crowley, Superintendent, West Valley School District
Lee Herman High School: A Powerful Alternative
This is a story of leadership and courage and commitment to equity in a way that challenged the status quo. The first thing the principal did was take “alternative” out of the school's name. Abeo offered coaching support at all levels, working alongside the principal, assistant principal and a small leadership team to design professional development for teachers. The principal understood that change needed to begin with how teachers design the experiences for students every day in classrooms. Abeo helped the staff explore deeply how to teach in long blocks, how to build a strong collaborative and thinking culture, and how to provide powerful project based learning in integrated ways.
By 2008, 100% of Lee Herman High School students met the state benchmark in reading and writing (from a low of 24% and 8% respectively in 2005). Just as importantly, district, school, and teacher leaders have led a revolution in how the community perceives alternative schools. Their commitment has moved Lee Herman High School from "drop out high school" to a powerful school of choice.