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Cool Schools: Learning 21st Century skills means success for Arvada High School

Arvada High School is the first in the state to use a new teaching model.

ARVADA, Colo. — Arvada High School launched a new teaching model for its students, the New Tech Network.  

About 200 schools across the U.S and Australia use the model, and Arvada High School is the first to use it in Colorado. 

“We’ve partnered with New Tech Network, which is giving us the support that our teachers need to transition out of the conventional stand and deliver [a new] method of teaching,” said Assistant Principal Mark Abling. “And [we're] giving them the resource of how to take those lessons and morph projects and problem-based learning.”

Credit: Byron Reed

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The program has students working on real-world projects that may combine traditional school subjects in non-traditional ways. Students become the leaders of their own learning and understand how lessons apply to them now and in their continuing education or career.

“We’ve implemented three different pathways for students to choose from so that they can...tailor their high school experience and target it into a more defined role, whether it be STEM pathway or arts and humanities pathway or sports business and marketing,” Abling said.

The goal of the program is to enable students to gain knowledge for the 21st Century through hands-on experience.

Credit: Byron Reed

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The program is about “being able to talk to people, being able to work in groups to get tasks done, being able to asses yourself and figure out what do you need to do and how you need to be better in order to make your job better,” said teacher Sergio Yanes.

“Most of the time it was just like, ‘Take these notes and then get prepared for the test,'" said junior Angelina Avila. “But now we’re actually seeing it from different views of like how we’re going to use it in real life.”

According to the New Tech Network website, 94% of the students graduate high school while maintaining those critical thinking skills all the way through college.

Credit: Byron Reed

“Students can leave us with job-ready experience to enter into the real world, or they can leave us with a lot of prerequisites out of the way for college so that they won’t have as much college debt or have to pay as much tuition,” Abling said.

“I like it just because I feel like it’s more organized,” said senior Mea Stevens Roesner. “It’s a hard adjustment, but I think once you get used to it…It’s definitely a new experience.”

> Click/tap here for more information about New Tech Network.

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