New Tech High School
By Naomi Dillon
The large panes of glass lining most of New Tech High School’s interior hallway offer a perfect, unobstructed view into the classrooms -- and for the dozens of school board members peering in one morning, an intriguing glimpse into a world of possibilities.
To the students, the board members were just another group of curious onlookers who’d heard about this experiment in the heart of California’s Napa Valley.
Part of Napa Valley Unified School District, New Tech High School started 14 years ago as a partnership with district officials and the business community. The ninth- through 12th-grade campus, which houses 400 students, features project-based learning and incorporates many elements of the 21st century skills movement, including encouraging collaboration and seamlessly integrating technology into the curriculum and classroom.
New Tech’s successes have inspired Napa Valley Unified to incorporate some of its concepts at other district high schools. And a nonprofit offshoot is bringing the New Tech model to other high schools in the country.
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