GEORGE H.W. BUSH NEW TECH ODESSA
The campus culture is systematically supported by investing time and effort in hosting Culture Week, Culture Days, and other efforts that create a sense of belonging for all learners. Culture Week occurs during the first week of school to inform, engage, and connect all grade levels and staff to project-based learning, Core Values, School Wide Learning Outcomes, and team building. Culture Days occur twice a year to reconnect and reengage all learners and staff to campus culture and expectations. This effort results in an ideal graduate who collaboratively contributes to creating a campus culture of college and career readiness.
NTO’s common purpose is developing college and career ready learners who compete, connect, and cooperate with the world. To accomplish this, NTO reinforces an innovative adult culture of practices and processes. Through surveys and reflections, the professional needs are equitably met using collective voice and choice. It is a common practice for professional learning to be led by colleagues for colleagues.
Utilizing learner voice from varying backgrounds is a common practice at NTO. Learner voice is used to strengthen project-based learning instruction, make decisions impacting learners, and providing a gauge for campus culture. This is done by establishing a representative Student Council, Learner Staff Interview Committee, Learner Recruitment Committee, a Principal’s Breakfast (Advisory) Club, and focus groups. NTO Student Council is influential in strengthening and reinforcing campus culture. NTO Student Council frequently plans campus events such as Culture Week, Culture Day, appreciation efforts, and community events. This results in learner implementation of core values, ownership of learning, and a sense of family belonging.
STRUCTURES FOR PROJECT BASED LEARNING
NTO consistently supports project-based learning as the primary mode of instruction through systemic routines and rituals. At the beginning of each school year, staff and learners lead a Culture Week reinforcing campus culture and procedures. Culture Week acclimates and introduces staff and learners to the project-based learning cycle, core values, norms, School Wide Learning Outcomes, 1:1 technology usage, and Echo. Culture Week establishes a smooth transition for learners coming from previous modes of traditional instruction, assists with learner retention, and creates an environment of acceptance.
ASSESSMENT AND ECHO PRACTICES
NTO has assigned classroom staff and a Technology Administrator to support Echo use. Assigned staff leads Echo professional learning to effectively promote teaching practices. At incoming freshmen and other campus events, Echo support is offered to educate parents and learners on platform use, parent settings, and to register parents for accounts.
Since NTO accepts learners from all local middle schools and other area middle school options, there is a high need to support learners in adjusting to a unique and demanding instructional and cultural model. To orient students, learners complete a Culture Week to learn about campus culture and procedures. Culture Week introduces incoming learners to project-based learning, Core Values of Trust, Respect, and Responsibility, and campus wide norms. Team building with peers and staff is also an essential part of onboarding learners.