PBL in a Public School
One of the biggest misnomers about our work at New Technology High School is people understanding who we are. Locally, we struggle with people having a clear perception of what we do. We have heard New Tech High is:
- The small alternative school for weird students
- Only for students that like computers
- A private school and privately funded
- A school that hand picks their students
However, once people interact with our students, they understand what we are really about. We are a place that breaks down the traditional perceptions of what school can be through authentic project-based experiences, an open inviting student-led culture, and focusing on outcomes that are more than just content standards.
In that same vein, many times, educators from around the globe that visit us and we work with on develop project-based capacity and deeper learning cultures don’t understand we play by the same rules of any traditional comprehensive high school.
Making PBL Work in Systems
What makes New Technology High School so unique, is we are 100% a traditional district high school. Many communities struggle with grappling with the fact that you can push the boundaries of what education look like and still play by the same rules.
- New Tech High is 100% free and public. Our enrollment processes mirror those of the comprehensive high schools in our district, except we do not have a residency boundary.
- New Tech High is funded using the same formula as every other school in our district. Any additional financial support is fundraised like an athletic boosters or band boosters would.
- New Tech High follows the rules set out in California EdCode and our local district board policy.
- New Tech High hires its teachers through the same union negotiated process. We follow the collectively bargained contracts in our local district.
- New Tech High participates in state assessment models and students still take national advancement tests.
Many times schools, districts, and educators think the only way to push innovation forward is outside of the current structures of public education. New Technology High School and the capacity work through our Center for Excellence has shown both are possible, you can play by the rules AND operate outside the box of traditional education.