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6. Learning Environment

Personalize the learning environment and instructional process.

Personalizing the learning environment helps create a school climate where students and teachers get to know each other, so students can feel a sense of belonging and community in their school. Districts can support schools in the development of a personalized learning environment through such options as "schools within schools," transfer schools, new small schools, thematic schools, or ninth-grade academies.

School leaders can strive for higher student achievement and graduation rates by creating small-school environments within their schools. This includes teacher teaming arrangements, extended school schedules, and extracurricular activities that address students' personal interests. Districts and schools may choose to complement personalizing the learning environment with such practices as providing rigorous and relevant instruction, social-emotional programs, academic support, and/or adult advocates.