Program Information & Resources


The Cross State High School Collaborative is using the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to create high schools that help communities thrive in the 21st Century. The CSHSC hopes to achieve this goal by:

  • A hopeful, positive, future-orientated framework to design high schools for the 21st Century rather than being seen as failed schools in need of reform
  • The goal is not a high school diploma but strong pathways through high school to post-secondary and adult success for all students
  • Use an Evidence-based, but locally customized/orientated plan for redesign—not one way for all
  • Address stress and scarcity through capacity building and technical assistance partners tightly aligned to community’s redesign vision and goals
  • Break social isolation via cross-state networks of schools facing similar challenges by providing opportunities for school leaders to travel to see other possibilities
  • In high needs communities make the redesigned high school the center of community economic development and social integration efforts

The resources on this page help communicate the vision, goals, key ideas, work plans, etc. of the redesign collaborative. There are also valuable outreach and needs assessment resources available.

The section titled, CSHSC Participating States & Partners contains resources submitted from the seven participating states.


Knowledge Modules

XQ’s Knowledge Modules offer a mix of cutting-edge academic research and inspiration to help anyone think boldly about both the possibilities and the realities of rethinking high school.

The XQ Knowledge Modules. The modules, organized into three categories

  • Discovery
  • Design
  • Develop

View the Knowledge Modules

XQ Expert Series

The XQ Expert Series is a series of conversations with transformational educational leaders. Each module contains inspiring stories, examples, and lessons learned from across the country.

Communication Resources


 CSHSC Overview & Goals

CSHSC Approach to Using ESSA for High School Redesign 
Click to download (PDF)


ESSA Redesign Overview & First Steps is a PowerPoint presentation outlining the goals and first steps of the Cross-State High School Collaborative redesign efforts.
Click to download (MSPPT)
Click to download (PDF)


CSHSC ESSA Redesign Scope & Sequence and Workplan 2017-18 is currently available for download in draft form.
Click to download (Word)
Click to download (PDF)




 Outreach to Schools & Districts

Draft One-Page Letter to Potential Participating High Schools outlines the program and its components

Download the Letter (MSPPT)
Download the Letter (PDF)
Download the Letter (MSWord)




 Needs Assessment


Needs Assessments for Low-Performing High Schools this PowerPoint provides guidance for using needs assessments to support high school redesign, including: logic of school improvement, how school redesign differs from school improvement, how ESSA needs assessments need to be different for low-performing high schools, what is the goal of needs assessments in supporting high school redesign, and many more!
Download the Report (PDF)
Download the Report (MSPPT)


There are additional resources on the Needs Assessment page.




 Mindshift & Supporting Structres Posters

These posters help illustrate CSHSC’s four evidence-based driver mindshifts. These mindshifts are the foundation of CSHSC’s high school redesign philosophy. You’re welcome to download, reproduce and freely display these images across multiple formats and share with your team. To download, click on the image then right-click and use the “Save Image As” function.

Resources from CSHSC Participating States
and Partners

The resources in the slider below are valuable tools and aides submitted by CSHSC’s participating states.

Lessons Learned in Massachusetts High School Turnaround

Lessons Learned in Massachusetts High School Turnaround a resource for high school leaders produced by Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the American Institutes for Research.

Download the Report (PDF)

Ohio Improvement Process Guide (OIP)

Ohio Improvement Process (OIP) Guide facilitating district-wide improvements in instructional practices and student performance produced by the Ohio Department of Education.

Click to Download Full Guide (PDF)
Click to Download 2-page Visual (PDF)

School Redesign LEA Guidance

School Redesign LEA Guidance is a 15-page report prepared by Louisiana Believes (LA Department of Education) detailing the Louisiana’s redesign process.

Click to Download (PDF)

School Redesign Scoring Rubric

School Redesign Scoring Rubric is a rubric developed by Louisiana Believes (LA Department of Education). Part 1 addresses the required plan elements of needs assessment and budget.  Part 2 Addresses the school redesign plan through core academics, special populations, talent, and LEA systems.

Click to Download (PDF)

How to Succeed in School Turnaround

How to Succeed in School Turnaround: Strategies That Characterize Successful Turnaround Schools in Massachusetts in 2013, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) collaborated with American Institutes for Research (AIR) to measure the impact of School Redesign Grants (SRGs) on student academic performance.

Click to Download (PDF)

Massachusetts Turnaround Practices Field Guide (2016 )

2016 Massachusetts Turnaround Practices Field Guide is a research-based guide designed to support district and school leaders engaged in school turnaround efforts. This guide was developed by American Institutes for Research and the Institute for Strategic Leadership and Learning for the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Click to Download (PDF)

Principals Pursuing Excellence

Principals Pursuing Excellence is a two-year program aimed at leveraging the expertise of New Mexico’s educational leaders to support and empower New Mexico’s school leaders as they work to dramatically improve student achievement in their schools.

Click to Download (PDF)

Internationally Benchmarked Self-Assessment Tool for Secondary Learning

Global Best Practices: An Internationally Benchmarked Self-Assessment Tool for Secondary Learning created by the Research Summary as prepared by the New England Secondary School Consortium.

Click to Download (PDF)
Click to View Web-based Version (Adobe Presenter Mode)

Using Needs Assessments to Drive School and District Improvement

Using Needs Assessments to Drive School and District Improvement (June 2017), is a tactical guide produced by CCSSO and the Center on School Turnaround describing the core components for developing and administering needs assessments for improvement. The tactical guide and worksheets that will aid in designing and developing needs assessments are available below.

Click to Download (PDF)

Understanding and Maximizing Federally Required Needs Assessments

Understanding and Maximizing Federally Required Needs Assessments (June 2017), a document aimed to assist states in designing and promoting a comprehensive needs assessment process. It includes ideas for consolidating needs assessment activities with the goal of allocating resources more effectively and equitably. Additionally, this resource includes a summary of the federal requirements for needs assessments highlighting provisions where using a needs assessment is implicit.

Click to Download (PDF)

What Louisiana is Doing

The State of Louisiana is kicking off a redesign cohort of 31 high schools in summer 2018. The cohort is made up of traditional high schools, charter high schools and alternative high schools. This was a competitive application process and schools had to apply; the State then chose the most promising applicants. Visit the Louisiana Believes for more information on their mission to improving struggling schools.


The documents below are the materials participant schools received, as well as state planning documents and slides from the initial kick-off webinar to introduce the cohort.

Louisiana Department of Education High School Redesign Cohort is a 20-slide MS PowerPoint presentation of the goals, benefits and expectations of the cohort.
Click to Download the Presentation

High School Redesign Data Collection Form is an MS Excel spreadsheet to collect data on graduates.
Click to Download the Form

Email Notification Template is an MS Word  document that can be used to welcome and outlining participation.
Click to Download the Template

Application Overview is an MS Word document outlining the Hopkins application process
Click to Download the Overview

High School Student Profiles is a six-page form to capture the data from the freshman interviews.
Click to Download the Profile (PDF)

Teachers are Designers is a five-page article the examines addressing problems of practice in education.
Click to Download the Article (PDF)


One of the CSHSC’s goals is to provide a network to share resources and experiences with educators dedicated to improving the high school experience for all students.

Have a resource to share? Please share any useful resource, tool, website, etc. that you found helpful during your redesign.

Have a story to tell? Please share any experience, anecdote, cautionary tale you encountered during your redesign.

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