- What is New Tech?
- Where is the New Tech academy?
- What steps have been taken to investigate the New Tech model?
- Can learners at New Tech still take band, choir, auto, graphics, art, etc.?
- Can learners at New Tech still participate in sports and other extracurricular activities?
What is New Tech?
New Tech stands for "New Technology," but most agree that "New Techniques" would be a more representative name. New Tech is not a technical school; technology is simply the tool used to facilitate project-based learning.
The name comes from the original New Technology High School in Napa, California in 1996. That school's success has lead to the replication of their model in sixty-two schools nationwide. Collectively, these schools make up the New Tech Network, which is also the name of the parent organization that provides training and support to ensure New Tech schools' long-term success.
Where is the New Tech academy?
The New Tech academy is an autonomous small school within the walls of Niles High School. We are located in the lower wing of the high school and have grades 9-12.
What steps have been taken to investigate the New Tech model?
The idea of opening a New Tech in Niles began when the board hired Richard Weigel as Superintendent in the spring of 2010. Mr. Weigel brought New Tech to Ypsilanti before coming to Niles and is an ardent supporter of the model. His idea has grown organically into a movement as teachers, administrators, parents, learners, business leaders, and community members have gone on New Tech site tours to experience the model for themselves. Here's a quick list of the work that's been done to ensure that New Tech is the right fit for Niles Community Schools:
- Teachers, administrators, and a Board member took a site tour of Bloomington New Tech High School in Bloomington, Indiana (May 2010).
- Teachers and administrators attended the Midwest New Tech Summit at the University of Michigan College of Education (May 2010).
- Teachers and administrators took a site tour to Wayne New Tech High School in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
- Mr. Weigel began talking to business and community partners about the prospect of opening a New Tech in Niles (June 2010).
- A high school teacher attended the New Tech Annual conference to learn more about the implementation schedule and the model (July 2010).
- New Tech teacher committee was formed to investigate the New Tech model and present to the entire middle and high school staff (August 2010).
- Second group of teachers and administrators took a site tour to Wayne New Tech High School in Fort Wayne, Indiana (Sept. 2010).
- New Tech teacher committee presented New Tech to the middle and high school staff and invited all interested teachers to take a site tour (Oct. 2010).
- Administrators, Board members, and business and community partners took a site tour to Danville New Tech in Danville, Indiana (Oct. 2010).
- A representative from the New Tech Network came to the high school to present to the staff and answer questions (Nov. 2010).
- Teachers, administrators, parents, and learners took a site tour to Arsenal New Tech in Indianapolis, Indiana (Nov. 2010).
- Administrators, Board members, and community and business partners took a site tour to Zebra New Tech in Rochester, Indiana (Nov. 2010).
- Teachers, parents, and learners took a site tour to Zebra New Tech in Rochester, Indiana (Dec. 2010).
- A district New Tech Committee was formed (Dec. 2010).
- Richard Weigel and a group of teachers presented New Tech to the Board of Education (Dec. 2010).
- Administrators, parents, and a Board member took a site tour to the School of IDEAS in Indianapolis, Indiana (Dec. 2010).
- Community invited to "Coffee with Richard" for informal conversation on New Tech (Dec. 2010).
- A New Tech representative came to Niles High School to conduct a Readiness Visit that assessed our capacity and commitment to start a New Tech High School in our district (Dec. 2010).
We sent a total of 56 stakeholders on site tours to New Tech schools in 2010. These tours resulted in countless hours of conversations about the potential for New Tech to have a positive impact on our school and community.
Can learners at New Tech still take band, choir, auto, graphics, art, etc.?
Yes. The New Tech academy will cover the four core classes (English, Math, Science, Social Studies) and one or two additional integrated courses yet to be determined. Time will be built into each day when learners can take additional elective courses that are outside the academy. We'll provide more information on the New Tech course offerings over the next couple of months, but rest assured that time for additional electives will be built into the schedule.
Can learners at New Tech still participate in sports and other extracurricular activities?
Yes. New Tech learners will still be Niles Community School students and are encouraged to play sports and participate in extracurricular activities.