New Tech High Named National Demo Site

September 1, 2016
Sioux Falls School District

Sioux Falls New Tech High School

New Tech Network (NTN) recently announced that Sioux Falls New Technology High School was selected as a National Demonstration Site in the New Tech Network (NTN).  Sioux Falls New Tech has demonstrated successful implementation of the New Tech school model so that students gain the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in life, college and the careers of tomorrow.

NTN_Bugs_Demo_2013_Valley_TechWe applaud the significant work necessary for schools to meet the demonstration site criteria.  We consider them exemplary schools within the New Tech Network of nearly 200 schools. Through the school’s hard work, students are better prepared for life and college, they have also developed a deep love of learning,” said NTN President and CEO, Lydia Dobyns.

To receive this prestigious distinction, Sioux Falls New Tech demonstrated many notable accomplishments. The school had to develop a clear set of student learning outcomes consistent with skills required to succeed in college, career or civic life. These include content mastery tied to state standards as well as work ethic/collaboration, critical thinking and oral and written communication. All courses demonstrated rigorous and relevant Project-Based Learning (PBL) to amplify deeper learning while engaging students in the classroom. The deep integration and use of technology is present in all classrooms. Finally, a school culture that establishes students at the center, built on trust, respect and responsibility must be evident throughout the school.

Sioux Falls New Technology High opened in 2010 with its first class of 106 students. The school, located in northwest Sioux Falls, SD is now entering its 7th year.  Director Dolly Ellwein states:

“We are so honored to be chosen as a demonstration site by the New Tech Network.  This will be our 5th time in the last 7 years that we have had this distinction, as it is a great sense of pride for our students and staff.  We are excited to be part of the innovative work of Project Based Learning, infusing rigorous content with community need and expertise.”

Demonstration site schools play a key role in showcasing the New Tech model in action by opening their campus to other communities.   Sioux Falls New Technology High will host tours for national, state and local schools and districts to experience a New Tech school firsthand.  Visitors will take part in student-led tours to learn about the fundamentals of the school, including project-based learning examples, integrated use of technology and the culture shift that is integral to every New Tech. Last year, NTN schools hosted thousands of visitors wishing across the country. In addition to tours, demonstration sites play an important role in hosting New Tech training events. These trainings often provide an authentic immersion experience for teachers and administrators as new districts and communities prepare to open and teach in their own schools.

New Tech Network recently released its 2016 Outcomes Report showing strong success among four key findings:

New Tech Network Students:

  • Graduate from high school at a rate 9% greater than the national average.
  • New Tech students grow 61% more in higher order thinking skills between freshman and senior years than comparison group.
  • Attend college at 70% and persist in college in 4-year colleges at a rate of 92% and in 2-year colleges at a rate 72% over the past five years

Superintendent Dr. Brian Maher states, “Sioux Falls New Technology High School is a shining star in our District. The project-based learning and overall “New Tech” philosophy has provided the spark necessary to more deeply engage students in their studies and in their community.  It is exciting to be chosen as a demonstration site as it means we are staying true to the vision of New Tech’s innovative, real-life education model by preparing students for their futures.”