What if all students got accommodations?

Legally every child with a learning disability receives accommodations, such as extra time on tests or access to audiobooks. But this innovative school gives them to all students.
YouTube video

High school was originally created during the Industrial Revolution as a way to train factory workers. Most high schools today still follow that original model — down to the bell schedule. But we can learn from the innovative schools like this one, which has broken the mold in several ways, including giving all students the learning accommodations they need to succeed.

In addition to learning from innovative schools, research helps us understand what works best in terms of teaching strategies and teen brain development. For example, we now know there’s no such thing as an “average” student, and it’s better to let kids learn at their own pace. This award-winning early college high school gives all students accommodations while those students are simultaneously completing all four years of high school and up to the first two years of college.

So what kind of high school do we need in the 21st century? This video is part of our Transforming High School project with articles, videos, Season 3 of our podcast, and tools to help parents and educators understand why high school is the way it is — and all of the modern, research-backed ways it can change for the better. Not all schools need to be exactly like this one, but there are solutions for every community. Discover what you think will work for your child and your school and share it with your child, teachers, the principal, the superintendent, and the school board. When parents raise their voices, change really can happen.

Find out more about Transforming High School

Thank you to Principal Claudia Gomez-Perez of Jimmy Carter Early College High School, which won a GreatSchools College Success Award.

More videos that feature schools that won College Success Awards:

About the author

GreatSchools.org is a national nonprofit with a mission to help every child obtain a high-quality education that values their unique abilities, identities, and aspirations. We believe in the power of research-backed, actionable information to empower parents, family members, and educators to help make this happen. For 25 years, the GreatSchools Editorial Team has been working to make the latest, most important, and most actionable research in education, learning, and child development accessible and actionable for parents through articles, videos, podcasts, hands-on learning resources, email and text messaging programs, and more. Our team consists of journalists, researchers, academics, former teachers and education leaders — most of whom are also dedicated parents and family members — who not only research, fact check, and write or produce this information, but who use it in our daily lives as well. We welcome your feedback at editorial@greatschools.org.