Bells added to New Tech Network

February 23, 2017
The Press and Standard


The Colleton County School District hosted a Lunch and Learn Tuesday Feb. 14 at Colleton County High School during which attendees learned about Cougar New Tech Entrepreneurial Academy (CNT) and were among the first to hear about plans to repurpose and rebrand the Health Science Academy at CCHS. Officials also announced that Bells Elementary will become the first elementary school in the southeastern United States to join the New Tech Network.

Lauren Behie, principal at Bells Elementary, said her school is set to begin full collaboration within the New Tech Network Learning Lab in 2017-18.

“The beauty of Bells Elementary is that because of its size, we are going to do the full-implementation beginning in August,” said Behie. “Our teachers have already been involved in some in-house training to prepare, and we have also identified time this summer for direct New Tech training. We are very excited.”

At CCHS’ Health Science Academy, ways are being  explored ways to expand the current medical pathways being offered to students to include emergency medical technology, health informatics and pharmacy technology. Dr. Melissa Crosby, principal at Colleton County High School, said during last week’s meeting the additional pathways would likely coincide with the implementation of new curriculum handed down from the South Carolina Department of Education.

“This has the potential to essentially offer open some of the pathways and opportunities to our students so they can step into some of these career roles,” said Dr. Crosby. “I feel very motivated that this is an opportunity for our students to step into these roles.”

Dr. Juliet White, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction for Colleton County Schools, said Colleton County Middle School will begin implementing a New Tech component beginning in 2018-19 with the sixth-grade class, then continue the implementation across a three-year period.

Currently, CNT has 327 students with 14 facilitators in grades 9-12, including five New Tech nationally certified teachers and four staff trainers for CCHS’ national demonstration site. In addition, CNT participates in a dual-enrollment partnership with USC Salkehatchie.

Four CNT students — Tevej Rhodes, Germaine Clayton, Samantha Calcutt and Dipali Patel — spoke to the group about the impact of CNT on their lives and how four years of utilizing project-based learning is helping prepare them for future success.

Alan Veach, director of district and school development for the New Tech Network, closed the meeting saying that the four pillars of learning for New Tech will look different at Bells than it does at CCHS.

“When you walk into Bells next year, it will look different than it does at CNT, but you will see the same four pillars of learning at both places – trust, respect, responsibility and growth,” said Veach.

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