The Coalition of Essential Schools fulfills its mission through

•    facilitating communication within and about the CES Network

•    convening Essential schools, CES Affiliate Centers and their allies for professional development and community-building

•    advocating for local, state, and national conditions that support personalized, equitable, and academically challenging schools and school systems.

CES National Affiliation and the CES Network Schools, organizations and individuals that join the CES Network by affiliating with CES National lend their voices to the effort to create an educational system that promotes personalization, equity, and academic challenge for all students. Benefits of affiliation also include Fall Forum discounts, and more.

Fall Forum

Each year, we convene  teachers, administrators, parents, students, and leading thinkers in education to exchange ideas, ask questions, and share insights and effective practices from schools around the country. Visit Fall Forum 2015.


CES  works with the national media and other educational organizations to promote the creation of an environment in which schools designed according to the CES Common Principles can thrive.


CES offers resources to support student-centered, equity-driven learning and accompanying school transformation. These resources include

•    research that demonstrates the effectiveness of the CES approach.

•    books such as Choosing Small: The Essential Guide to Successful High School Conversion and Small Schools, Big Ideas: The Essential Guide to Successful School Transformation. Order here.

•    the CES Benchmarks, a set of 14 qualities of Essential schools that describe those practices that are aligned with the CES principles, the CES Benchmarks are designed to help educators understand and implement the critical elements of high achieving and equitable CES schools.

CES Affiliate Centers

Our Affiliate Centers provide technical assistance to schools that have embraced the Common Principles. Each CES center is an independent organization with the autonomy to create services appropriate for the schools it serves. Directors and staff from CES centers meet regularly to exchange ideas and share resources.