Discuss and Self-Assess Your High School Using the XQ Design Principles
High schools across the country are using remote and hybrid learning to meet the needs of students, families, and educators in this challenging school year. Using these techniques for teaching and learning is new to many of us, and it’s safe to say that a lot of schools will be continuing to improve their approach over the coming months. The truth is, high-performing schools are constantly assessing and improving in the areas that matter most—and, right now, remote and hybrid learning is crucially important.
To help, we developed a discussion and self-assessment tool that teachers, education leaders, and students can use together. It includes a set of discussion questions to explore what your school is doing now, what you might try, and what additional resources you might mobilize; and a self-assessment worksheet to create a plan to meet students’ needs better and more equitably.
The tool is grounded in the XQ Design Principles, the six core characteristics of an effective, equitable, and student-centered high school. All six design principles are important, and we’ve included them in the tool, but we realize that working your way through all of them might be overwhelming.
We recommend starting with three: caring, trusting relationships; meaningful, engaged learning; and youth voice and choice. Educators affirm that getting these three right seems especially important for making sure students are able to stay connected, make progress in their learning, and exercise agency within their school community.
Originally developed to inspire design teams to create bold, student-centered high schools, the XQ Design Principles are equally valuable in this period of urgent rethinking. As one participant wrote after a recent workshop in New York City, “Thank you for reminding me of all that is in our control!”
We hope this resource will help you be candid, thoughtful, and imaginative as you create systems and routines that keep students at the center—and make your high school a steady source of stability—in a profoundly uncertain time. Download here.
Be sure to let us know if these tools are helpful and what tools you want to see next by tagging @XQAmerica and using #ReThinkHighSchool across social!