CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Walk the halls of Clintondale High School, just north of Detroit, and the school doesn’t appear out of the ordinary. You’d find the typical smells and the sprawling nondescript interior, as well as the persistent challenges confronting many American public high schools serving mostly low-income students.
Yet, there’s a stark difference in the way instruction is delivered. Clintondale is the nation’s first completely flipped school, meaning teachers record lectures for students to watch online outside of class, and what was once considered homework is now done during classtime, allowing students to work through assignments together and ask teachers for help if they run into questions.
In 2010, with more than half of the school’s ninth graders failing math, science and English, principal Greg Green decided to adopt the flipped approach, a blended learning model that also relies heavily on outside videos like the popular Khan Academy and Ted Talks.
“We were desperate for change,” said Green. And, he suggests, change has come.
Greg Green recognizes that the flipped classroom might not work for everyone, but he’s pleased it’s now firmly in place at Clintondale.
“We feel we’ve perhaps figured out the structure of the way schools should be set up,” Green said. “And we’re trying to make it an ideal situation for both the learners and the teachers.”