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Seaford School District to Launch First New Tech Academy in Delaware

Delaware's Seaford School District is opening a new technology-based academic high school. The Delaware New Tech Academy will use a project-based educational model that has been proven successful at more than 60 public schools across the nation.

2011-01-22
SEAFORD, DE, January 22, 2011 (Press-News.org) The Seaford School District will offer students in the state a new kind of high school education when it opens the first New Tech High School in Delaware in August 2011.

The Delaware New Tech Academy will be a "school within a school" at Seaford Senior High School and will offer students a comprehensive academic program featuring Project Based Learning and daily use of computers and technology in the classroom. Designed to mimic a modern business, the Academy requires students to learn and complete projects in a way that prepares them for college and the workplace.

Admission to Delaware New Tech Academy is through an application process. Applications are being accepted through February 1, 2011, for students who will be in 9th and 10th grade next fall. Students entering the program in the fall of 2011 will be able to stay with the program through graduation.

Applications may be downloaded from the Academy's website: http://www.delawarenewtech.org and students from throughout the region may apply.

The New Tech High School model has been proven successful at more than 60 public schools across the nation.

It is not a technical or vocational program, but an academic program that teaches 21st Century skills and prepares students for both college and careers.

"Delaware New Tech Academy is a school for the future, available today," says the Academy's director, Mrs. Chandra T. Phillips. "Students learn all the material they would learn in a traditional high school program, but the way they learn math, language, science and social studies is different."

With the New Tech Academy model, students work in teams on real-world projects in addition to listening to lectures and using textbooks. As they progress through their projects — some of which come from businesses or institutions in the community — they are taught all the academic content and skills appropriate to their grade level, and immediately apply what they have learned to the challenges of their project.

At the conclusion of each project, each team presents what it has learned to classmates, teachers and professionals. Students are tested and graded individually to ensure they meet all state and district education standards and benchmarks.

"This is the first New Tech High School in Delaware, but the New Tech approach is not an experiment," says Mrs. Phillips, a Seaford native and graduate who has served as both a teacher and administrator in Seaford schools. "The New Tech emphasis on critical and analytical thinking, collaboration and media literacy has enabled students to meet or exceed state standards in state after state and outperform their peers at traditional schools."

The New Tech High School model is brought to Delaware through a partnership between the national New Tech Network and Innovative Schools, a non-profit public school support organization based in Wilmington. These two organizations are working with Delaware New Tech Academy staff to plan and open the Academy in August of 2011.

Innovative Schools has researched high performing schools across the country that are pushing the boundaries of public education with modern learning programs. Serving as a partner with creators of school models and local Delaware school districts, Innovative Schools supports the replication of these models in ways that ensure success and sustainability.

"Innovative Schools applauds the Seaford School District and the Seaford community for being the first in Delaware to pursue this bold reform," states Debbie Doordan, Executive Director of Innovative Schools. "We hope that the State of Delaware will be watching as Seaford Senior High School demonstrates how the New Tech model could be implemented throughout Sussex, Kent, and New Castle counties."

Seaford School District was approved for a New Tech Network high school after completing a rigorous application process to determine the district's ability to implement the model with fidelity.

"The New Tech Network is very excited to be opening our first high school in Delaware," states Tim Presiado, Director of School Planning for the New Tech Network. "Seaford School District and Innovative Schools demonstrate openness to new ideas, an important component in replicating a new school model. The New Tech Network is deeply committed to this project."

About Innovative Schools

The launch of Delaware New Tech Academy at Seaford Senior High School is being supported by Innovative Schools: The Center for School Innovation (www.innovativeschools.org).

Innovative Schools is a statewide non-profit public school support organization. It provides strategies, tools, and ongoing support for educators and communities seeking to improve public school education and raise student achievement.
Through its Innovative School Models program, it identifies public education models that have successfully raised student achievement in other states and works with communities to bring these models to Delaware.
The New Tech Academy model being implemented at Seaford Senior High School is one of the approaches featured in the Innovative Schools portfolio of successful models for innovation.
Innovative Schools also partners with local communities to help schools recruit and train high quality teachers and administrators and to assist schools in streamlining administrative functions so that more resources can be directed to classroom instruction.
(Innovative Schools Contact: Katherine Gallup, 302-656-4737, kgallup@innovativeschools.org)

About New Tech Network

Delaware New Tech Academy is part of the New Tech Network (www.newtechnetwork.org), which works nationwide with schools, districts and communities to establish model public high schools that emphasize real-world skills. The New Tech model features a Project Based Learning approach, a culture that empowers students and teachers, and daily hands-on use of technology in the classroom. Founded in Napa, California, in 1996, New Tech is a growing network made up of more than 62 public high schools in 14 states. When a school adopts the New Tech model, the New Tech Network provides ongoing services, training and support. The Network also tracks student achievement and performance among its schools nationally. Its goal is "to enable students to gain the knowledge and 21st century skills they need to succeed in life, college and the careers of tomorrow." The New Tech Network is a subsidiary of KnowledgeWorks.


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[Press-News.org] Seaford School District to Launch First New Tech Academy in Delaware
Delaware's Seaford School District is opening a new technology-based academic high school. The Delaware New Tech Academy will use a project-based educational model that has been proven successful at more than 60 public schools across the nation.