Becoming a Top 20 School

What does it mean to be a Top 20 School?

A Top 20 School is intentionally implementing Top 20 principles and practices in order to activate the human development of students, staff, and parents. The principles and practices that are implemented develop Social-Emotional Learning in all members of the school community enabling them to think, learn, and communicate more effectively. By doing so they are able to make a positive difference in the lives, relationships, and experiences of others and themselves.

The mission of a Top 20 School is to help students, parents and staff become more aware of the power they possess within themselves to more often be their best version individually and as a community. All members of a Top 20 School know and are committed to achieving this mission. Although this mission may never be perfectly attained, it is always intentionally sought. Members of the school enjoy and celebrate growth towards this mission fulfillment and correct thoughts, beliefs, and practices that are roadblocks to its achievement.

What are the Components of a Top 20 School?

  1. The human development of students, parents, and staff.
  2. Implementation of the 4 Cornerstones.
  3. Implementation of 20 Top 20 strategies, principles, and concepts over three years.

What are the Cornerstones of a Top 20 School?

The fundamental way a Top 20 School’s mission is achieved and its goals attained is the consistent and intentional creation of a Top 20 culture built on the foundation of four key Cornerstones:

  1. Help Others Succeed
  2. Communicate ‘You Matter’
  3. Honor the Absent
  4. See the Problem, Own the Problem

These Cornerstones are the basic ‘job description’ of all members of a Top 20 School community. As such, all members:

  1. Are aware of these four Cornerstones as they join the school community.
  2. Understand the expectation that they practice these Cornerstones.
  3. Can expect that other members of the school community practice these Cornerstones.
  4. Are willing to give and receive feedback based on how the four Cornerstones are being practiced by others and themselves.

What are the principles, practices and strategies to be implemented by students, parents, and staff of a Top 20 School?

The following principles, practices and strategies are to be implemented according to the school’s plan over a three-year span of time. All members of a Top 20 School strive to accomplish its mission by knowing, supporting and practicing the following:

  1. Establish Four Cornerstones
  2. Have a Clear Purpose: Why We Teach
  3. Balance IQ and SEL
  4. Live Above the Line
  5. Know How to See Things Differently: The Frame
  6. Value and Learn from Mistakes and Failure (A Failure Day is planned each year.)
  7. Keep Stupid in the Box
  8. Celebrate Confusion
  9. Help Students Know That They Have Intelligence
  10. Promote Internal Motivation
  11. Monitor the Impact of Grades and Assessments
  12. Create a Culture of Belonging
  13. Build Trust
  14. Eliminate Negativity: Thought Circles and Tornadoes
  15. Focus and Listen in the Zone
  16. Resolve Conflict Heart-to-Heart and Practice Instant Replays
  17. Establish Relevancy and Develop Star Qualities (Special focus is given to Gratitude.)
  18. Learn in the Moment and After the Fact
  19. Give and Get Feedback
  20. Support Parents