According to the New York Times, the majority of high school dropouts leave school because they don’t like it or weren’t interested in the classes. A newer curriculum, New Tech, is trying to target those disinterested students, while still reaching those who are already college bound.
The New Tech Curriculum is fairly new as it only started in the mid 90’s, but it already has proven results. On their website, www.newtechnetwork.org, they state, “results on reading and science achievement, college acceptance rates, and behavioral indicators point to strong performance levels among many New Tech Schools”. Each student is provided with a computer and the necessary tools to complete “project-based learning” as a group. In this type of environment, students learn open collaboration and problem solving skills. The program goal is “to enable students to gain the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in life, college and the careers of tomorrow”.
At the time of publishing this blog, only ten schools in Michigan had incorporated the New Tech curriculum. Wolgast has gained experience with constructing New Tech High Schools over the past few years. We have provided Construction Management services for renovating Ypsilanti New Tech High School and we will be managing the construction for Meridian New Tech High School in Sanford, Michigan this summer.
The difference with remodeling or constructing a New Tech school stems from each space needing to be adaptable for multiple group work stations for a variety of situations. A higher level of coordination is the key for the Construction Manager to oversee a smooth project and account for the necessary flexibility plus technical and data accommodations.
If you’re considering adopting this curriculum for your school, you should contact the New Tech Network; however, if you need a Construction Manager to complete the renovation to your school, call Wolgast Corporation who can apply their best practices to your project.
2/2/16 Update: Meridian Public Schools in Sanford became one of the earliest schools in Michigan to adopt the New Tech High School curriculum for their freshman class in 2010. They hired Wolgast to complete the necessary renovations to the existing high school to allow for the extensive wiring, networking and group spaces required for the technically focused program. The curriculum stayed with those that started it as freshmen in 2010 and then extended to all following classes. Since 2010, we have also completed more renovations to make room for the additition of students and their space and technological needs, including updates to science labs and media centers. Meridian is focused on getting their students "Career Ready. College Bound" according to their website.