New Tech Network is very pleased to announce our new partnership with the Winton Woods school district and congratulate this exceptional district on earning the Ohio Straight A grant. As Winton Woods High School’s New Tech Network Leadership Coach during the 2015-16 school year, it was a privilege to recently be in the room as this community began to come together around its collective work in the years ahead.
On the morning of Friday, February 5th, 2016 the Winton Woods district leadership team brought the entire Winton Woods district staff into the high school auditorium to celebrate the district’s earning of the Ohio Straight A grant. This was a gathering that symbolically invited every adult in the system to lead in the innovation this almost $1 million grant represents. Winton Woods Schools has committed to an entire PreK-12 New Tech Network implementation.
Eric Martin, the Principal at Winton Woods High School, began the district wide huddle by energizing the room and celebrating each school before introducing Superintendent Anthony Smith. Mr. Smith spoke with passion about the broader community, state, and national context that makes their PreK-12 New Tech implementation not only a fabulously timed opportunity but truly a moral imperative. He spoke to the significant shifts in their district’s socioeconomic demographics as well as the broader community-wide economic realities of local, small businesses closing. He then mentioned the recent federal shifts to NCLB, and suggested “either someone else restructures us, or we do it ourselves.”
Curriculum Director and original New Tech Academy of Global Studies Director on the high school campus, Terri Holden, then came up to the stage and told the Winton Woods story that brought them all into the room today and that is influencing their multi-year vision to ensure ALL Winton Woods students achieve their highest potential. When Winton Woods began the New Tech Academy of Global Studies as a school within a school on their high school campus 5 years ago, they watched as the students in this small school developed skills unique to their peers on the rest of the campus. The performance and demonstrable skills of AGS’ first graduating class really sparked a movement. Why limit what is best for kids to a minority of your students? Winton Woods is committed to extending this opportunity to every student in their district. Ms. Holden was frank and honest about the challenges to one’s practice that this transformational experience will present, while she shared a 3-year trajectory for the system-wide implementation.
The leadership in this system is purposeful. They are passionate about their students. They are clearing the path and ready to align their system to ensure the outcomes they want for their graduates. We are thrilled to welcome the entire Winton Woods district to the New Tech Network!