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Propel’s six Promising Principles and supporting Powerful Practices provide the structure and common language that are used to speak of the reasons that we have been able to achieve such high levels of success. When Propel first opened its doors in 2003, our “Pioneers” did not have such a framework upon which to base their work. Instead, Propel’s founders opened a school in the basement of an old hospital with a vision of operating high-performing public schools and providing choices to families.


Each learner has distinct and changing needs. Teachers and teacher teams continually and flexibly adjust instruction to meet learner needs.

Powerful Practices:

1.1 Continuous use of data shapes and guides instruction.

1.2 Planning reflects various learning styles.

1.3 Instructional methods vary with learning needs.

1.4 Technology is embedded in teaching and learning.

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Everyone in the organization is guided, nurtured, and encouraged.
Everyone is a coach. Everyone is coached.

Powerful Practices:

2.1 Coaching is structured at all levels.

2.2 Extensive support is provided to parents and families.

2.3 Teachers support students beyond the classroom.

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Relationships, built upon a fundamental appreciation for the unique experiences of each individual both in school and beyond, anchor the Propel community.

Powerful Practices:

3.1 Expectations are clear, high, and universal.

3.2 Success is built upon strengths.

3.3 Democratic norms are evident.

3.4 Consequences are restorative.

3.5 All voices are valued and acknowledged.

3.6 Family and community are assets.

3.7 Relationships are meaningful and valued.

Download more information on Culture of Dignity 

Artistic expression and creativity are essential components of a complete education.

Powerful Practices:

4.1 Teaching Artists in residence provide extended experiences.

4.2 Full-time Art and Music teachers integrate learning.

4.3 Arts Education is provided to every student, every day.

4.4 Culminating Celebrations of Learning highlight student accomplishments.

Download more information on our Fully Valued Arts Program

Propel Schools are extraordinary places for educators to work. Continuous professional learning and growth are both expected and supported.

Powerful Practices:

5.1 Recruitment and hiring process is rigorous.

5.2 Induction and mentoring programs strengthen new staff.

5.3 Professional Development is collaborative and systemic.

5.4 Collaboration and sharing of best practices is expected and supported.

Download more information on Vibrant Teaching Communities

Good is never enough. Administrators, faculty, and staff are constantly striving to reach an
ever-rising standard of excellence.

Powerful Practices:

6.1 Success targets are explicit and always evolving.

6.2 Vision and culture are clear and reinforced.

6.3 Advisory Committee and Board of Trustees drive a research-based approach.

6.4 University and educational research partnerships are sought and sustained.

Download more information on Quest for Excellence


Promising Principals