09/06/12 The Plymouth School Board heard a proposal on Tuesday night that could lead to the formation of a New Tech Middle School academy for the 2012-2013 school year.

Speaking to the Board was Amy Gerard, K-8 Project Based Learning (PBL) coordinator, for the Plymouth Schools.

Gerard said, “New Tech matches the strategic plan from 2009 for PCSC is committed to expand instrumental strategies and curriculum to include PBL and School within a School.”

She explained that forming a New Tech at two sites would provide a seamless transition between Washington Discovery Academy (WDA) and the School of Inquiry (SOI). She said the use of New Tech provides a choice in education for parents and students. Gerard said, “It prepares learners for their world and future with a rigorous and relevant e-Learning environment.
The Board voted unanimously to proceed with submitting an application to New Tech for middle schools. The application is due by September 15. If chosen, the proposed middle school academy would be only one of eight chosen.

According to Gerard, there would be one academy with two locations-one at Riverside Intermediate and the other one at Lincoln Junior high. The proposal would include 100 learners per grade that would mirror Riverside and LJH demographics.

The project would be funded through donation, much as the School of Inquiry has been able to reach the $450,000 needed.

The only figures that Gerard presented was the need to raise $120,000-$135,0000 to join New Tech under a two-year contract. New Tech provides teacher training in PBL.

Correspondent Carol Anders

Additionally, there would need to be small remodeling projects to form two large group areas in both riverside and Lincoln junior High.