Power of ICU- Blitz Day Success!

260 student school…we have completed 1,457 assignments! 

We completed our first blitz in December and students completed EVERY assignment to fidelity. We are planning our 2nd blitz in March and calling it the “Basketball Blitz”. We will have a students -vs- teachers basketball game with ME as the referee!

Todd Chandler, Principal                                                                                                                                                        Cleburne County Middle School, Heflin, AL


At the half way point last year we had 276 course failures.  Frankly, the number of students failing was out of control.  We were allowing the students to CHOOSE to fail.  THIS YEAR WE ARE NOT! 

This year at the half way point we have 239 LESS course failures than the previous year at the half way point. What an incredible accomplishment for us all (including our students).

I just wanted to share with you all where we are and I know as we work through this process and focus on the ICU Formula for Success (Assignment Completion + Quality Assignments + Healthy Grading Practices = SUCCESS) things are only going to get even better.  I am proud to have the opportunity to work at Washington Middle School!

Mark Goyette

Principal                                                                                                                                                                                        Washington Middle School, Glendive, MT


…An attainable and measurable goal!

I just wanted to let you know that we finished our first semester with ZERO missing assignments at Fairview High School. I’m including a spreadsheet that shows how much our grades improved from a year ago.

Our biggest surprise is that we went from 75% A’s and B’s in the 2015/16 school year to 96% A’s and B’s in the 2016/17 school year.

I am proud of our students and staff!  Thank you for presenting to us and helping us change the culture in our school.

Rick Miller

High School Principal

Fairview, Montana

Fairview Results

“ICU is About a New Culture on Campus”

Fort Stockton Middle School, a Power of ICU Spotlight School, is shinning bright in Fort Stockton, TX.

Check out the Article from local CBS affiliate Channel 7.

2017 is going to bring great success for Power of ICU Partner Schools!



Fort Stockton Middle School
Fort Stockton, Texas
Principal: Roy Alvarado
Grades: 6-8
Enrollment: 598


The Power of ICU Team is excited to announce the last SPOTLIGHT SCHOOL for 2016! A Spotlight School has earned the coveted distinction by successfully implementing the Power of ICU Formula and continued assignment completion for at least two years.

After Fort Stockton ISD was introduced to Power of ICU by Danny Hill in the spring of 2014, Fort Stockton Middle School started its first year of ICU in 2014-2015 in a section of the cafeteria at lunchtime with two lifeguards. They quickly realized the potential in giving students extra help and extra time to complete their assignments…and students responded! Read More about Fort Stockton Middle School



“Power of ICU – A Wind-Driven Prairie Fire”

Schools across the country are completing their first semester of this school year and the Power of ICU Team is excited to already be hearing success stories.

In August, our own Danny Hill was interviewed for an article in the Billings Gazette.  As reporter Matt Hoffman wrote, “This year, the program (Power of ICU) seems to have spread like a wind-driven prairie fire.”  It’s truly exciting times for our team and the Power of ICU Partner Schools. To read more of the article go to Billings Gazette Article

The Power of ICU Team’s mission is to transform the education culture in America. To partner with schools, empower teachers and build success for every student. We know that “Every student completes every assignment” is an attainable and measurable goal. The Power of ICU is a proven formula for student success!

Keep up with the Power of ICU Team on TWITTER #PowerofICU

Spotlight School: Laurel Middle School

Laurel Middle School
Laurel, Montana
Grades: 5-8
Enrollment: 650

Laurel Middle School launched ICU in the middle of the 2013 – 2014 school year. Why take this on in the middle of the year? Students were failing and the teachers were exhausted! The leadership took the first step to bring in Danny Hill and the ICU Team as well as challenging the staff to read, Power of ICU. The teachers embraced the ICU approach and recognized the need for change. They voted almost unanimously to jump right in at the end of the first quarter. This was a bold move but has paid off dramatically.

Initial change was difficult, as schedules were already in place and the year was rolling along. Since then, things like lifeguard support and ICU advisory teams have been implemented. They work daily to perfect the process as they continue to tweak, adjust and improve!

Check out Laurel Middle Schools Student Success data!


“Many of the area schools have started to take notice of our ICU results and have come to watch it in action. Completion is now the norm at LMS with back to back years (14-15, 15-16) of 100%.” – Patrick Cates, Principal

Congratulations to the staff and students of Laurel Middle School! The Power of ICU team is proud of your determination to build a “Brickhouse” strong school. We are honored to partner with you and to spotlight your success!

Crestwood Middle School: This IS Success

The Power of ICU team recently received a fantastic email from Principal Julie Schmidt at Crestwood Middle School in Ohio:

Dear Danny & Jayson,

I have the coolest story ever to share with you both! About a month ago, I saw an opportunity to win a $5,000 national grant through a program called “Game Plan for Success”. In 500 words or less, you had to tell a story about your school’s game plan for student success. I figure that I had a cute story to share about our CICU unit…so I wrote an essay about the CICU program, which I will share with you at the bottom of this email. Last week I found out that I won!!!

I just wanted to thank you both for our CICU program. It has been so successful. See the essay below.


Here is Julie’s submission:

“Let’s make it a great day a Crestwood Middle School, where every student completes every assignment!” It is a simple phrase that the CMS students hear every morning, but our students take the message to heart and so do our teachers and parents.

Based on the 2013-14 needs assessment with her teachers, CMS Principal, Julie Schmidt, found that her teachers were overwhelmingly requesting assistance in addressing student apathy. Mrs. Schmidt also saw a need for building-wide consistency in grading practices, opportunities for re-takes/re-dos, and ensuring students’ grades/assessments truly reflect mastery of the content standards and prepare our students to be “College & Career Ready”. Shortly after the 2014-2015 school year began, CMS faculty and staff received training in the “Power of ICU” (Danny Hill, 2009). This program addressed and resolved everyone’s concerns, so the Crestwood Intensive Care Unit (CICU) was established. Briefly, CICU is a program where every student is required to complete every assignment, and when this happens CMS celebrates this success with our students. Those students who do not complete assignments (due to absence, dog-eating homework, apathy, etc.) must report to CICU.

Then, there is “The List”. All teachers have access to a shared database. Every time an assignment is not turned in, the teacher can upload the student name and assignment to “The List”. Students can also be put on the list to redo assignments that were not of high quality or to retake a poorly completed assessment.

Teachers and parents have shared that our student’s grades have improved because they are more engaged, enthusiastic, and care more deeply. They know they are going to have to complete the assignment, so they work hard to do it timely and properly or risk the chance of having to do or redo the assignment in CICU. Academic progress is being made every day with our students.

Students complete their authentic and engaging activities, so they can understand the concepts and standards better. Students indicate that they feel better about school and their classes, because they do not get “behind”, understand the material better, have higher grades, and feel less overwhelmed, in general about school and classes when they have their work done. Students have even been heard telling other students, “You might as well do the assignment right and on-time, because otherwise, you will have to do right in CICU”.

Parents indicate that they appreciate no longer having the evening debate/battle over doing homework and do not have to keep checking the on-line classrooms and gradebooks to make sure their child is staying on top of their work. They also appreciate the improvement they have seen in their child’s report card.

Students know that with CICU, the school culture is one of positive helpfulness and a mindset of every child being successful as it relates to extra practice and mastering content standards. Data tracking since the implementation of the CICU program indicates that CMS students’ grades and attendance improved over the previous year. CMS students are learning heroes who are being prepared for life after middle school. Last year, “every student completed every assignment’ before they left for summer break and the program is going strong this year!

Way to go, Julie. Crestwood Middle School rocks!

We Had the Same Problem

Encouragement, rewards, punishment, and motivational speeches: nothing worked. It seemed that not doing an assignment was the “in” thing to do. Students’ flippant attitude when announcing, “I didn’t do my homework,” would make teachers’ blood boil. As the principal, I would be called in out of frustration to deliver an ultimatum, “If you don’t do your work, then…” I would fill in the blank with whatever sounded good that day. Things like, “You will never get a job,” or maybe, “You will end up failing this year,” would roll off my tongue year after year, and still they never flinched. “We care more than you do,” was another routine statement that was a waste of our breath. The term “Student Apathy” seemed too simple compared to the enormous real-life frustration our staff felt every single day of the school year. If this were a physical tumor, instead of our approach reducing the tumor, it seemed to grow larger and more dangerous each year. After 25 years in education, I had resigned myself to the accepted paradigm that we just cannot reach all of them.

Then we changed and all of our students completed every assignment for years. We totally changed our approach and the students dramatically improved. Notice I did not say we “added” things to our plates that were already overloaded. No, we changed our approach totally. No more speeches, no more threats, and NO MORE LETTING STUDENTS OFF THE HOOK.

Wow-what a mess! We had unintentionally declared war on student apathy without a battle plan or the infrastructure to sustain us. Nobody had explained to us “how to” get students to turn in assignments when we had been letting them off the hook for years. Just telling them they still had to complete their work just made things harder on the teachers. My incredible staff dug in and over the next several months pieced together our own “how to” and all students (yes even our toughest ones) completed every assignment routinely for years.

We are committed to defeating apathy and building a culture for learning, one school at a time.

Danny Hill

ICU Works: A Texas Teacher Testimony

Fort Stockton Middle School English teacher Zachary Jones:

In our first year of ICU, it took many weeks before we got the ball rolling. No one was really sure of how to use it. Then, we began to realize how to use the list. Aides and student tutors would assist the students with the assignments. Teachers would get the assignments back and check them in. If the work didn’t meet standard, the student remained on ICU until it was done correctly. No class time was lost working with these students, and students began turning their work in on time. The quality of the work began to improve, and the list of ICU students began to decline.