High Schools Of The Year: Pulling In The Parents

WINNER Stonewall Jackson High School/Manassas, Va. Moms and dads need to lend a hand because the curriculum at this school is not for wimps

Every parent of a schoolchild is familiar with the counter. It's that imposing bit of architecture in the main office that many administrators use to keep parents at bay. "I hated that thing," says Steve Constantino. So when he became principal of Stonewall Jackson High School in Manassas, Va., he immediately ripped the counter out.

That was just the first of many changes intended to make parents feel welcome. Constantino, 42, knew that a top predictor of a child's success is parental involvement in his or her education. But Stonewall faced a problem familiar to many schools in the suburbs, where...

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