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The Scoop

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File / The Journal Gazette
Wayne High School's New Tech program on the first day in 2009.

Verbatim: More new-tech high schools to open in northeast Indiana

Statement issued Thursday:

Three New Tech High Schools are set to open this month in Northeast Indiana for the 2010-2011 school year. They will join New Tech Academy (previously Wayne @ New Tech) in Allen County to make a total of four New Tech High Schools now open in the region. The three schools opening this month are Viking New Tech (Huntington, IN), Lakeland’s Leading EDGE (LaGrange, IN), and Adams Central Jet Tech (Monroe, IN).

One additional New Tech-Eagle Tech Academy in Columbia City-also plans to open for the 2011-2012 school year. With the addition of this school, Northeast Indiana will officially have five New Techs-making it the largest concentration of New Tech High Schools in the country.

Since the first New Tech High School was created in Napa, California, in 1996, over 60 New Tech schools have sprung up across the United States. New Tech is a high school where subjects are integrated and all teaching is done in a project-based learning (PBL) format. New Tech High Schools meet or exceed state standards and have an intense focus on developing students’ 21st century skills like oral and written communication, critical thinking, work ethic, collaboration, problem solving, creativity and presentation skills. New Techs may partner with a traditional high school, operate separately in their own building, or become a district’s only high school. New Techs have their own principals, teachers, classrooms and schedule - and the way the students learn is unlike any traditional high school in the region.

In Northeast Indiana, New Tech High Schools have a particular focus on teaching science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), while still offering many electives, athletics and advanced placement courses.

“We at the Talent Initiative champion the New Tech model because of its progressive, project-based learning methodologies and emphasis on the 21st century skills that employers in Northeast Indiana are looking for,” said Leonard Helfrich, director of the Talent Initiative, which partially funded the New Tech High Schools. “We are excited about the New Techs succeeding in our region as the model directly aligns with our efforts to promote and further STEM curriculum and STEM-focused careers in Northeast Indiana.”

The first new New Tech to open for the 2010-2011 school year is Viking New Tech in Huntington. Viking New Tech will be located within Huntington North High School building with opening day set for August 12, 2010.

“At Viking New Tech we are excited about the opportunity to bring New Tech to our students and community. Being a small learning community within Huntington North High School, we are able to provide students a choice in their education. We are grateful to our local business leaders who support our efforts. Viking New Tech will provide students with 21st century skills that our local and regional employers value. Without the financial support of the Talent Initiative this opportunity would not be possible for the students of Huntington County,” said Kelly Renier, Director of Viking New Tech.

Opening day for Lakeland’s Leading EDGE is set for August 26, 2010. Lakeland’s New Tech High School will evolve to become a full conversion school. Leading EDGE will start with freshman and sophomore classes in 2010-2011.

“Lakeland High School is excited to offer cutting edge teaching methods and technology in the heart of LaGrange County. Leading EDGE will engage, develop, grow, and help our students excel at Lakeland and prepare them for a world demanding entrepreneurial innovators. Our students will have the edge in any career path they choose,” said Eva Merkel, Director of Leading EDGE.

Adams Central Jet Tech is a full conversion of Adams Central High School located in Monroe, IN and opening day is scheduled for August 16, 2010.

“This will be a fun and exciting year. A year that will stretch our staff to re-think why and how we teach. It will also be a year that changes the way the students will learn and perform in class. For the first time in their school lives, they will be learning and utilizing skills that are used every day in the business world. These skills will give the students an advantage in college and in the work force,” Sean McConnell, Adams Central Jet Tech Director.

New Tech Academy (within Wayne High School in Fort Wayne, IN) will open for its second year as a New Tech High School on August 23, 2010.

“New Tech Academy is again leading the charge in Northeast Indiana as it opens for its second year as a New Tech High School. After a busy summer of construction, training new staff in project-based learning, and putting together the last pieces of a new recording studio, we are excited to greet our 21st Century learners!” said Liz Bryan, Director of New Tech Academy.

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