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Flipped Classroom Best Practices from Clintondale High School

The Second in a Series of Posts Examining Best Practices in Institutions with Documented Success in Flipped Instruction

How’s this for an approach to learning about how to implement flipped teaching and learning: look to cases where the use of these techniques have been assessed and proven effective and identify common themes and practices?

I recently started ‘mining’ measured successes of flipped teaching for Best Practices for a presentation I am doing in June at UB Tech 2014 (“Flipped Classroom Success Stories (and How to Make Yours Happen!)“. I realized each of these stories would make a great article for the site here. I posted the first such article, “Culling Flipped Classroom Best Practices from Successful Implementations” last week, and here is another entry in what will be a series of articles on this topic.

Flipped Classroom Best Practices Clintondale

This week we examine the premier flipped high school, Clintondale High School in Michigan (in fact, they can be found at flippedhighschool.com). Clintondale has received quite a bit of media coverage in the last few years, as Principal Greg Green has shared their success story.

“Every year, our failure rates [had] been through the roof.  The students weren’t paying attention, they weren’t doing their homework, they were being disruptive, or they weren’t coming to school at all. Sadly, these issues are not that uncommon, particularly in this economic climate, where the percentage of students who fall into the poverty category is increasing by the day.” – Principal Greg Green

Best Practices from the flipped high school

These excerpts were pulled from the CNN article, “My View: Flipped classrooms give every student a chance to succeed” and from the Clintondale High School web site. The practices identified are practices that I see common to many successful flipped teaching and learning implementations.

“Our flipped school model is quite simple. Teachers record their lectures using screen-capture software (we use Camtasia) and post these lecture videos to a variety of outlets, including our school website, and YouTube. Students watch these videos outside of class on their smartphone, in the school computer lab (which now has extended hours), at home or even in my office if they need to.”
Practice – Customized Digital Content (via Screencasting)
Practice – Make Sure all Students Have Access to the Content!

“Now, when students come to class, they’ve already learned about the material and can spend class time working on math problems, writing about the Civil War or working on a science project, with the help of their teacher whenever they need it. This model allows students to seek one-on-one help from their teacher when they have a question, and learn material in an environment that is conducive to their education.”
Practice – Personalized Learning

“In addition to flipping the classroom, we wanted to give our students the opportunity to learn about each subject or topic from someone who is a recognized expert in each area. So we decided to team with other schools across the country and world. Now, some of our calculus students are able to watch video lectures from a math teacher in a private school in Virginia, and our students learning about the Holocaust can watch videos made by a teacher in Israel who just brought her class to Auschwitz. This type of learning network will enable us to close the gap of inequality that schools are subjected to because of their financial standing, and provide all students, no matter what district they’re from, with information from the best teacher or expert in any field.”
Practice – Collaborative Content Development

“To change the learning environment even further, we’ve used Google Groups to enable students to easily communicate outside of class, participate in large discussions related to their schoolwork and learn from each other.”

Clintondale High School website image

Practice – Social, Collaborative Learning (even outside of the classroom!)


So in these excerpts from Clintondale’s documented practices, we have 5 Best Practices that I have also come across in other flipped classroom success stories. In fact, two of them were in our article about Missouri U.

These are some of the impressive results from Clintondale High School

  • In the freshman class in the first flipped learning semester, the pass rate increased to 67 percent in English language arts, 69 percent in math, 78 percent in science, and 81 percent in social studies, representing an increase of 9 to 19 percentage points across the subjects.
  • Discipline referrals declined by 66 percent.
  • In 2012, although the graduating class had participated in the flipped learning model for only about six months, the graduation rate increased from 80 to 90 percent, college attendance jumped from 73 to 80 percent, and college readiness improved substantially.

Keep an eye out for future articles sharing more Best Practices in Flipped Teaching and Learning!


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