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What if you flipped a school?

By Greg Green
April 8, 2015
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Taking calculated risks is not the norm in most schools. Yet where there is risk, there is often great reward. That was our mindset in 2010, when the staff at Clintondale High School in Michigan realized we had to do something to lift our students who were struggling mightily. At that time, 52 percent of freshmen were failing English, 44 percent were failing math, 41 percent were failing science and 28 percent were failing social studies.

We decided to make a radical change by flipping instruction: Students would watch lectures on video at home, which would free up class time for teachers to work one on one with students.

Flipped learning has made a tremendous difference in our students’ academic success. After implementing the flipped model, the failure rate dropped to 19 percent in English, 13 percent in math, 19 percent in science and 9 percent in social studies. Our success has even enticed more than 300 educators from 12 countries to visit our school.

Schools have not changed much in the last 300 years. Teachers have been sharing what they know and students have been practicing at home. This routine has left many teachers, parents and students frustrated. By going to a flipped classroom model, we have given students and teachers more control of their learning and teaching while reducing tension and frustration in our school.

What we learned as a staff is that we all are passionate about making wonderful achievements happen. And we have found that sometimes the most dedicated educators in the most difficult learning circumstances can produce the most amazing and heartfelt learning opportunities.

Watch the video below to see how we transformed our school.

Greg Green is has been principal of Clintondale High School in Michigan for 12 years. He has also served as an athletic director, assistant principal and special education teacher with district. Greg has received international acclaim for the flipped classroom and blended technology school movement that he spearheaded.