Breakthrough Schools

Celebrating school success

The Breakthrough Schools program, initiated in 2007, identifies, recognizes, and showcases middle level and high schools that serve large numbers of students living in poverty and are high achieving or dramatically improving student achievement.

Selection criteria are based on a school’s documented success in implementing strategies aligned with the three core areas of Breaking Ranks II for middle level and high schools that have led to improved student achievement, and include the following:

  • Collaborative leadership: professional learning communities, shared leadership, and student and staff leadership development
  • Personalization: attention to all students, mentoring, and school/community connections
  • Curriculum, instruction, and assessment: access to rigorous coursework for all students, differentiated instruction with multiple assessments, data-based decision making, and opportunities for career development

NASSP is currently seeking partnerships to enhance its Breakthrough Schools program. Contact Josephine Franklin, Associate Director, Professional Learning, at franklinj@nassp.org for more information.


2017 Redesignated NASSP Breakthrough Schools

Between 2011–2014 NASSP recognized thirty-nine Breakthrough Schools. These schools were evaluated again in 2017 to determine if they had continuously sustained their student achievement over the years since initial recognition. Twenty-six of the eligible schools successfully completed the redesignation process having demonstrated collaborative leadership, personalization, and growth and reduced achievement gaps on state assessments over time.

Click here for more information regarding the schools.

  • Alice Ott Middle School, Portland, OR
    James Johnston, Principal
  • B.F. Terry High School, Rosenberg, TX
    Andree Osagie, Principal
  • Bloomfield High School, Bloomfield, NJ
    Chris Jennings, Principal
  • Christel House Academy, Indianapolis, IN
    Colin Butler, Secondary Principal
  • Clarke Central High School, Athens, GA
    Marie Yuran, Principal
  • Fossil Ridge Intermediate School,St. George, UT
    Jonathan Howell, Principal
  • Hastings Middle School, Hastings, NE
    David Essink, Principal
  • Lafayette Academy Charter School, New Orleans, LA
    Monica Boudouin, Head of School
  • Lesher Middle School, Ft. Collins, CO
    Tom Dodd, Principal
  • Maplewood Richmond Heights High School, St. Louis, MO
    Kevin Grawer, Principal
  • Marshall Fundamental Secondary School, Pasadena, CA
    Mark Anderson, Principal
  • Native American Community Academy, Albuquerque, NM
    Kara Bobroff, Executive Director
  • Norview High School, Norfolk, VA
    Marjorie Stealey, Principal
  • Oberlin High School, Oberlin, OH
    William Baylis II, Principal
  • Oscar Smith Middle School, Chesapeake, VA
    Judith Thurston, Principal
  • Pierce County High School, Blackshear, GA
    Dara Bennett, Principal
  • San Ysidro High School, San Diego, CA
    Hector Espinoza, Principal
  • Scott Morgan Johnson Middle School, McKinney, TX
    Mitchell Curry, Principal
  • Sleepy Hollow High School, Sleepy Hollow, NY
    Tracy Smith, Principal
  • Southmoreland Middle School, Scottdale, PA
    Vincent Mascia, Principal
  • The Preuss School UCSD, La Jolla, CA
    Scott Barton, Principal
  • Trenton High School, Trenton, MO
    Ron Franklin, Principal
  • Wade Hampton High School, Greenville, SC
    Eric Williams, Principal
  • William Smith High School, Aurora, CO
    David Roll, Principal
  • Woodbridge Middle School, Woodbridge, VA
    Angela Owens, Principal
  • Worcester Technical High School, Worcester, MA
    Kyle Brenner, Principal