New School Teams (2021-22)

What is the Challenge Success School Program?

The Challenge Success Program is a year-long, collaborative partnership that helps schools transform their students’ experience by gaining alignment and commitment to a shared vision of school culture, policies, and practices that support student health, well-being, and academic engagement.

Schools in the program implement research-based reforms in areas such as school climate, student schedules, curricular design, assessment practices, and community education. Our change process with schools follows these steps:

  • Engage multi-stakeholders throughout the process. Schools form a team of 8-10 administrators, teachers, parents, and students to spearhead the change process and garner buy-in.
  • Deepen their understanding of the student experience through “Listening In” protocols that elicit student voice.
  • Work directly with a Challenge Success coach to set a vision for change and identify action strategies.
  • Explore research-based tools and strategies and implement what best fits their community’s needs.
  • Network and learn alongside a cohort of high achieving schools

After completing the first year of the program as a New School, many schools opt to continue as a Returning School to further their commitment to meaningful and lasting school change.

Why do you call it a Partnership?

We are not consultants. We do not come with a predetermined list of best practices that we instruct schools to implement. Instead, we believe that effective and sustainable school change efforts must emerge from within a community, tailored to meet your specific needs. 

We’ve designed our School Program to operate as a partnership. The magic happens when we blend our expertise and research-based tools and strategies with your own deep understanding of your school community. 

What kind of school change can I expect from the School Program?

Through this program, schools commit to a shared vision to transform their school community into one that puts student voice at the center of their change process in their pursuit of more balance, less pressure, and deeper engagement. We work with partner schools to identify and implement specific practice and policy changes that improve student well-being and increase engagement with learning. Here are some of the changes past schools have made: 

✓ Moved to a block/modified block schedule
✓ Shifted to a later start time
✓ Revamped an advisory program to support student belonging and connection
✓ Implemented quarterly “no homework” nights
✓ Incorporated revision and redemption practices in grading policies
✓ Created test and project calendars to reduce overlapping major assignments
✓ Dropped class rank 
✓ Changed conversations about college to focus on the “right fit”

Discover how Dover-Sherborn High School in Massachusetts benefited from joining the Challenge Success School Program and furthered their work to prioritize student well-being and engagement with learning.

Listen to how The Alexander Dawson School describes their partnership with Challenge Success and what they have learned by being in the School Program.

What’s included in the School Program?

    1. Fall Conference: Attend our virtual conference in Fall 2021 with up to 10 team members. This two-day conference includes interactive presentations, research-based workshops, community-building between school teams, and time allotted to work on your school team’s action plan. New School teams will also receive a pre-conference coaching session. Fall Conference Dates: Sept 24-25, 2021 

    2. Spring Conference: Attend our conference* in Spring 2022 with up to 10 team members.** The full-day Saturday conference includes workshops, facilitated team sessions, and opportunities to network with other schools. Spring Conference will be held in Palo Alto, CA, and Boston, MA. Specific dates are TBD. Conference to be delivered virtually if COVID-19 restrictions still apply.

    3. Facilitation & Coaching: Five (5) meetings with a Challenge Success coach and the opportunity to leverage our research-based tools and processes to guide your planning process.

    4. Surveys: Select two (2) of the Challenge Success surveys to administer: Student Survey, Parent Survey, and Staff Survey. Teams will receive an interactive online dashboard of results for each survey and a debrief call with Challenge Success School Program and Research team members. 

    5. Professional Development & Parent Education Workshops: Three (3) workshops – two virtual and one live* – including a Professional Development workshop, a Parent Education workshop, and a Student workshop, or other mutually agreed upon meetings and/or consultations.

    6. Research & Resources: Exclusive access to relevant research and tools in our resource portal connected to our SPACE framework and meet as needed with our research team during open office hours hosted four times per month. You’ll also receive a copy of the Challenge Success book, Overloaded and Underprepared.

Other Program Details

Audience: Middle & High Schools
Timing: Aug 2021 – June 2022; Rolling registration now through April 23, 2021.  Space is limited.  
Price: $16,000 per school team. Challenge Success offers limited financial assistance based on need. Click here to apply.  

Interesting in joining the School Program?




* These will be live if COVID restrictions allow.

**Out-of-area schools are responsible for team travel and lodging.