Job Description / Essential Elements:
High Tech High (HTH) is a group of free public charter schools dedicated to immersing students in project based work, adult-world experiences, and a culture of community and personalization. The original HTH opened in September 2000 and currently serves 530 students in grades 9-12.
Over the past 10 years, we have added two middle schools and two additional high schools to our “village” in San Diego. In fall 2007, we opened two additional high schools, starting with the 9th grade, one in Chula Vista (20 minutes south of San Diego) and one in San Marcos (45 minutes north of San Diego). In fall 2009, we opened a middle school in San Marcos. We will be opening an elementary school and middle school in Chula Vista in fall 2011. The reason we are opening more small schools is that we believe that students achieve more in a personalized small school environment, yet there are many more students who want to attend an HTH school than we have room for.
As a public school serving students from all over San Diego, we use a lottery system and have a diverse student body that is reflective of the diversity of San Diego County. Our first graduating class was 50 students, all of whom went on the college, 82% to 4 year colleges and 18% to 2 year schools. 60% of the students were the first in their family to attend college.
Our school emphasizes a project based learning approach. Examples of student projects can be seen on our website. Our professional culture is one in which teachers have a strong leadership role in the school.
It is possible to work at our schools without a teaching credential, as we have our own in-house credentialing program. Teachers need to be hired to work at our schools, then work full time and are paid full time. The credential program is one afternoon a week plus some other times as credential candidates meet together to discuss the issues they are facing. Over the course of two years, credential candidates develop a portfolio of their work, which leads to a California teacher credential, equivalent to one earned in a traditional university based program.
All HTH schools are based on the HTH design principles:
Personalization As a small school by design with a low student-teacher ratio, the HTH schools aim to have every student in the school known well.
Adult World Connection All students present their work to adult panelists, go on site visits to various workplaces, and complete at least one semester long internship during their junior year.
Common Intellectual Mission At HTH schools, there is no ability grouping. We do not offer AP courses and instead aim to challenge each student within regular coursework. All students at HTH are ready for admission to the University of California system and all HTH graduates so far have gone on to post secondary education.
The answers to many questions about the school can be found at http://www.hightechhigh.org
High Tech High Graduate School of Education
In 2007, High Tech High opened the first graduate school of education fully embedded within a K12 learning environment. Approximately 40% of the students in the HTH GSE work at High Tech High schools while 60% work in other schools.
Teacher Leadership M.Ed. Program
The Teacher Leadership Concentration (TLC) is a two-year part-time program designed for experienced teachers who wish to continue to build their teaching, inquiry, and leadership skills. These Master’s candidates continue to work full- or part-time at either a school in the High Tech High network or outside of the network. Each student will be assigned a GSE faculty advisor, with whom they will meet regularly to discuss their progress on their action research project and their digital portfolio.
School Leadership M.Ed. Program
The School Leadership Concentration (SLC) is designed for aspiring school leaders. Candidates will learn the necessary skills, ranging from financial management to instructional leadership, required to open and lead a successful innovative school. Students will be assigned a Mentor Leader, a current charter school director, with whom they will work closely and observe in meetings and through decision-making processes. They will also be assigned a GSE faculty advisor, with whom they will meet to develop their Personalized Learning Plan (PLP) and to chart their progress on the PLP and the four work products required for graduation from the program.
There are two tracks within the School Leadership concentration. There is a full time 10-month full-time residency within a HTH school. There is also a part time two year program for students who will continue to work within a school.