The agreement between the Plymouth Schools and the New Tech Network will continue through the next two school years. The Plymouth School Board approved the continuation of the agreement during their July meeting.
Year 1 will be from July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017. The second year of the agreement spans July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018. The total amounts of the fees are $96,110 with yearly installments of $48,055.
In a letter signed by Lydia Dobyns, president and CEO of New Tech Network, the impact of the agreement is spelled out. Dobyns said, “This 2-year continuation agreement focuses on providing targeted virtual support to develop your schools as organizations that learns in service of improved student outcomes.” She added, “ The New Tech Network school development coach will engage the New Tech school leadership teams through four 2-hour virtual professional development sessions focused on leading the schools through a continuous cycle of inquiry.”
Additionally, the agreement spells out a long list of services and supports.
The Plymouth Community School Corporation schools that are using a project-based curriculum that aligns with New Tech Network include Washington Discovery Academy, Innovation Academy at Riverside, Innovation Academy at Lincoln, and the Weidner School of Inquiry within Plymouth High School.
According to Amy Gerard, director of Project-Based Learning, the four schools serve approximately 1,250 students with 420 at Washington, 225 at Riverside, 225 at Lincoln, and 380 at Weidner.
The first class to graduate from the Weidner School of Inquiry was this year.
Gerard said the Plymouth Community School Corporation schools involved continue to be some of the best in the nation. She said they have hosted several residences lasting from 2-4 days for teachers and administrators of school corporations wanting to learn more about New Tech Network.
According to Gerard, the local business community shared a need for preparing students with skills in both oral and written communication. She said project-based learning is a natural way to achieve those skills. “The businesses seek out those who can research, think through problems, offer solutions, and present to leadership teams. These are the skills being used in the Project Based Learning classrooms.” Gerard said.
One part of the classroom works consists of having people who work in various professions visit in the classroom and answer questions from students.
Gerard indicated that all visitors in any of the Plymouth Community School Corporation buildings receive background checks through the corporation Raptor system.
Applications from parents/guardians wanting their child to be in the Project Baised programs are taken from February through kindergarten roundup.
Gerard said anyone wanting a tour of the schools involved or more information can contact her through the administration offices.