10/17/12 The Plymouth Schools launched a project based New Tech High School of Inquiry at the beginning of the school year. This first year, 102 students are enrolled. Plans are to add approximately 100 students each school year until the total enrollment reaches about 400. Currently the New Tech center is located in classrooms that were converted to meet the needs. Renovation is continuing on dedicated classroom space that will be opened during the 2012-2013 school year.

According to Superintendent Daniel Tyree, the smart use of technology supports the innovative approach to instruction and culture. Tyree said, “With access to Web-enabled computers and the latest in collaborative learning technology, every student becomes a self-directed learner who no longer needs to rely primarily on teachers and textbooks for knowledge and direction.”

Recently the school corporation received a $25,000 grant from the Marshall County Community Foundation earmarked for the New Tech space. Tyree said, “The grant brings our total fundraising efforts to $416,000 from grants and private donations.” He added, “Creating a 21st century learning environment and training staff to prepare students for success in the future requires a multitude of community resources.”

Tyree said, “At the heart of every successful New Tech school is a strong partnership with the community. As a member of our community, we are seeking your assistance in establishing a model Project Based Learning educational facility.”

Those in the community who wish to join others who have already donated to the project, can find a list of items to sponsor in a donation book that can be found at www.plymouth.K12.in.us/plymouth-school-of -inquiry.html.

The donation levels have been noted as follows: Trailblazer, $100-$250; Leader, $251-$500; Entrepreneur, $501-$1000; Innovator, $1001-$5000; and Luminary, $5001-$10,000. The names of all donors falling within the levels above will be recognized on a donor board that will be placed in the School of Inquiry. Tyree said they will accept donations that will be recognized on the donor board until the end of April, 2013.  If family members or other groups/organizations wish to pool their donations, the donor board will reflect the family or group name.

Tyree explained that any questions can be directed to Ken Olson, School of Inquiry director; Michelle Risse, director of Quality Programs, Dan Funston, assistant superintendent, or to Tyree.

Carol Anders Correspondent