The CES Network includes hundreds of schools and more than two dozen CES Affiliate Centers. Diverse in size, population, and programmatic emphasis, Essential schools serve students from pre-kindergarten through high school in urban, suburban, and rural communities. They are characterized by personalization, democracy, equity, intellectual vitality and excellence.
CES practice is exemplified by small, personalized learning communities where teachers and students know each other well in a climate of trust, decency and high expectations for all. Modeling democratic practices with a strong commitment to equity, Essential schools work to create academic success for every student by sharing decision-making with all those affected by the school and explicitly confronting all forms of inequity. Essential schools focus on helping all students use their minds well through standards-aligned interdisciplinary studies, community-based “real-world” learning and performance-based assessment.