The 2023-24 school year began early for several Lake Ridge New Tech teachers.
Both LRS veterans and recently hired staff convened at Lake Ridge New Tech High School from Tuesday, August 8, through Thursday, August 10, for professional development training. The focus was on discussing and learning how to implement The New Tech Network Model of teaching within their curriculum and classroom culture.
According to its web page, the first New Tech Network school was formed in 1996 in Napa, California, as a collaboration among local entrepreneurs, teachers, and district leadership. They had a shared desire to reimagine the high school experience so that students developed the skills and experience necessary to pursue and achieve success after graduation.
While the New Tech Model is not a curriculum, it represents a theory that promotes project-based learning and problem-based learning. Teachers can integrate these principles into their classroom lesson planning. The model consists of four focus areas: College and Career Readiness, Supportive and Inclusive Culture, Meaningful and Equitable Instruction, and Purposeful Assessment.
Over the summer, LRS Assistant Superintendent Cindy Trevino led a team of 20 administrators and teachers to Dallas, Texas, to participate in the annual New Tech Network Conference. For a week, they were immersed in strategy and philosophy.
Trevino shared that the lessons acquired in Texas were shared with the teachers who participated in the three-day LRNTHS professional development. Much of the focus was on introducing newly minted teachers to the New Tech Network philosophy.
“When we went to Dallas, we specifically worked as a team on teacher orientation,” she said. “New Tech helped us organize and plan out our professional development, because we have a lot of new teachers who are not familiar with the New Tech Network model. We are trying to make sure everybody has a clear understanding of it.”
Trevino mentioned that New Tech Network professional development will be ongoing throughout the 2023-24 school year.
LRS teachers work on lesson plans using New Tech Network theory.