DeKalb New Tech is in its second year of implementation. We have approximately 140 freshmen and sophomore students with plans to add one hundred new freshmen students next school year. The focus of the school is built on project based learning, collaborative assignments, and contact with the community and businesses to form authentic applications for students. All of this is done with Trust, Respect, and Responsibility being the characteristics which students uphold on a daily basis.
THE BIG IDEA BEHIND KEEPING IT SMALL…
Small schools enable students to feel safer and have fewer absences. The student body and facilitators alike know everyone's names and are able to form relationships that just aren't plausible in a bigger school setting. This sets the stage for the New Tech facilitators to act as coaches and help guide the students in their learning rather than directing everything and lecturing. New Tech students show enthusiasm for school because they have control and are active participants in their learning experience. All these things are essential to keeping the culture of trust, respect, and responsibility that is so important to the New Tech environment.
21st CENTURY SKILLS AND PROJECT-BASED LEARNING.
Each project that the students do is graded using the same multidimensional grading system. Facilitators in New Tech grade students not only on course content, but also on four skills that students will need and utilize in the 21st century. These include Oral Communication & Presentation, Written Communication, Collaboration & Teamwork, and Work Ethic & Effort.
Grading students on all five areas allows for open communication and gives students critical feedback about areas of strength and areas that need improvement. This model will give students a significant advantage when it comes to college and careers. From interviews for a job position to presenting an idea to a board, New Tech students will be confident and competent!