Clintondale High school ranked ‘awesome’ for its innovation

The Huffington Post compiled a list of 12 schools from across the country that are finding innovative ways of delivering education to students.  Calling it “one of 12 awesome schools that could change the way you think about public education,” Michigan’s Clintondale High School provides more than a typical education by turning itself into a flipped classroom school.

Since 2010, these Clintondale students get their instruction at home after school is out via online videos. During the school day, they’re doing their homework. The school—once ranked in the lowest five percent of schools in the state—is a school of choice with a large number of students coming from Detroit, so the school is home to students with a variety of skill levels.

Everyone—the administration, staff, students and parents-- agreed that Clintondale’s education model wasn’t working. Thanks to a grant from a local company specializing in lecture and recording software, the high school decided that a flipped learning structure was the way to go. The new model was first implemented for ninth grade students and is now in place for the entire school.

Teachers record their lectures and post them on the school’s website and YouTube. Students can watch the videos in the school computer lab, at home, or on their smartphone, but the viewing is done outside of class. Since students already know the material, they can spend class time working on assignments with the help of one-on-one assistance from their teachers. To change the learning environment even further, students can communicate with one another outside of class using Google Groups.

Learning isn’t limited to Clintondale High School. Students can watch video lectures from teachers in other schools across the country. This learning network allows Clintondale students to take advantage of learning opportunities their own school can’t provide.

Reversing the instructional schedule has improved school attendance, scores on standardized tests and failure rates. Flipping instruction has successfully dealt with the homework issue for students who may not have the support at home they need to help with assignments. The flipped school model has done much to level the playing field so all students have access to the best information and materials they need to be successful.