7 Correlates of Effective Schools

  • Here in the Sunnyvale School District, we know that all students can learn and achieve, and we believe that it is our responsibility to ensure that they do. To accomplish this, we use the Seven Correlates of Effective Schools to guide our programs and practices. The Seven Correlates of Effective Schools is an outcome-driven educational model based on research conducted by Harvard University. The model identified the characteristics shared by schools in which all students achieve.


    Those characteristics cover topics ranging from classroom organization, to frequency of learning assessments, to time allocated for student work, and more. When applied simultaneously, these characteristics (the “correlates”) create a comprehensive and highly effective learning system that increases the likelihood of learning success for all students regardless of personal circumstances, socioeconomic differences, or cultural diversity. That means the bar is raised for every student at every school, resulting in greater learning achievement for all.

  • seven correlates of effective schools


  • 1) Climate of high expectations


    Effective schools expect high levels of achievement from each member of their learning community; all students can and will learn, and teachers, staff, administrators, and parents are expected to hold that belief.


    2) Frequent monitoring of student progress


    Effective schools monitor student progress frequently, and alter instructional methods or provide specific interventions as needed to ensure students are successful.


    3) Opportunity to learn and student time on task


    Effective schools allocate and protect instruction time, and instruction is part of an integrated, interdisciplinary curriculum, focusing on the curricular content that is most essential and the skills that are most valued.


    4) Safe and orderly environment


    An effective school provides an environment that is positive, purposeful, and safe. Behavioral expectations are clear and consistently articulated, and teachers and principals model those behaviors, treating students and each other with respect and empathy.

  • 5) Positive home-school relations


    In effective school, parents are encouraged to play an active role in their child’s education. Parents and teachers partner, nurturing each child’s social, emotional, and physical well-being and development, and empowering every child for learning success.


    6) Strong instructional leadership


    In an effective school, a principal acts as a leader of leaders, trusting teachers to create a class environment that is consistent with district values. In turn, teachers play a role in establishing the school’s vision, and work toward its achievement every day.


    7) Clear and focused mission


    An effective school has a clearly articulated mission, understood and valued by every member of the faculty and staff.  At SSD, we are committed to our mission to prepare all students with a strong foundation of skills and knowledge to succeed in their educational pursuits. Further, we work toward the realization of our district’s vision, which dictates that all teachers work as needed to ensure student achievement, building on individual strengths and learning styles, and providing interventions where indicated to improve student learning and achievement.