Showing posts from 2017

10 (Community Partners and Charities) For Our 10th!!

As a campus principal, I am exceedingly proud to be a part of a campus that believes in helping out and contributing to our larger community. In the 10 years that New Tech High @ Coppell has been open, we have partnered with many charities, schools, and organizations. This year, it is our goal to make sure we contribute with our time, money, services, or goods to at least 10 community partners. Our first community partner of the year was chosen in collaboration between our learner leadership groups and one of our facilitators who had family members impacted by Hurricane Harvey. 
When our learners and families saw the devastation unfold in the Gulf Coast, many felt the call to help out in some way. Knowing of course that the healing from the storm would take a significant amount of time, we wanted to make sure that we were very strategic in how we went about our aide efforts. To that end, we have partnered with a parent/teacher organization in the Houston area and will have different dr…

From Learner Feedback to Campus-Wide Implementation

Last week, we shared a post by one of our Junior Facilitators on the creation and implementation of a first week project that tasked our learners with shaping campus culture. To remind you a little bit about that process, one of our junior learners shares her description of the process:

Daniela Villareal, Junior, writes:
The First Week Project is a sort of icon and trademark of the beginning of the school year at New Tech High. The weeks leading up to the first week of school are usually filled with nerves, but as an incoming junior, I felt more restless and just wanted the school year to begin. In past years, the junior First Week Project has consisted of a college fair in order to better inform and prepare learners for the upcoming decisions they will have to make regarding their future. This year, however, our class was chosen to embark on the task of bettering our school and its culture.
We were given the option to choose which of three topics we wanted to focus on: group dynamics, …

Priming the Pump: Jump Starting Conversations About School Culture With All Learners

Written by Mr. Brian Hussey, Facilitator of American Studies and AP US History
The start of a school year is a time of joy, hope, and anxiety for both teachers and students. The clean slate given to both groups provides the opportunity to rediscover the passion and thrill of learning and to recalibrate approaches to be more successful. Despite the euphoria of possibilities, a sense of unease remains. The momentary burst of positivity confronts the realities of a classroom and the needs of curriculum, instruction and classroom management. We all want to do better and kindle the desire to learn, but the churn of the school year muddies that singular perspective. As a school, we want to find better ways to sustain the joy of learning while providing the structure needed to best help all learners.
Our staff made the commitment to reinvigorating the shared understanding of our school culture as a priority for this year. As an intellectual activity for a group of facilitators over the summer …

Civil Rights Arts Project: A Collaboration Between

By Brian Hussey: American Studies Facilitator An education professor of mine stressed one basic rule above all others: nothing else matters until you get to know your students. Through four years of teaching, I have returned to this maxim when planning both whole class objectives or devising an individual plan for a student. Moreover, this tenet has held true in the three different contexts I taught. From a charter and magnet school in Philadelphia to a suburban high school outside of Dallas, the need get to know students’ interests, prior knowledge, and personalities remains paramount. In fact, meaningful learning did not happen until I knew more about my students than just their names and faces, and they understood more about me beyond my classroom number and location.
Developing a familiarity between the teacher and learners creates an atmosphere where students are more willing to take risks and accept criticism. Additionally, it places the teacher in a position of constant learning…

Building Worlds to Change the World

Written By: Daniel Bess, AP Biology and Earth, Space, Science Facilitator

As a facilitator here at New Tech, we have many opportunities to work with learners in after school clubs - Community Service club, Red Cross club, America for Africa club, Astronomy club, Outdoor Adventure club, just to name a few. I happen to sponsor a group called “Table Top Games Club”. We are currently in the midst of a Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) campaign, and this has offered me a glimpse of the work our Dungeon Master (DM) has put into the fun we have every week after school.

A DM is the storyteller - they build the world, and the various quests, as well as paint vivid pictures of the actions that take place as a result of players’ choices and their luck in rolling dice to complete those actions. If you have ever played D&D, you know how exciting it can be to find yourself in another world, role playing, exploring, and tackling a crazy story line with your friends. The success or the failure of th…

Project Spotlight: Quinceañera Expo

Written by Norrie Brassfield, Spanish Facilitator
“I liked that I had the ability to actually have a conversation with a native Spanish speaker at the mall and the Expo.”  
“ I really liked creating the dress, and seeing how the entire theme came together. Seeing that all our hard work paid off, made everything worth it. Especially winning the dress competition.”
“I liked how it was very real world learning. That we applied the Spanish we learned to the real world.”
These are just a few of the reflections after the Quinceañera Expo recently held by the Spanish 2 classes.  Groups were organized into event planning companies to create booths for the Expo that would present ideas and options for venues, catering, flowers, transportation, music, entertainment, dresses, accessories and gifts for a Quinceañera.
While researching this coming of age tradition learners began to understand the religious and cultural significance of this event in the lives of their peers and also discovered that Qu…