On Wednesday the New Tech Network Director of Regional Development, Alan Veach and Paul Buck the New Tech Network Director of New School Development welcomed staff members from Goshen Model Elementary School to Washington Discovery Academy.
At the same time the Innovation Academy at Lincoln Jr. High welcomed teachers and administrators from Goshen Middle School.
Washington Discovery Academy is beginning its fourth year as a Project Based Learning (PBL) elementary school. PBL allows students to collaborate on meaningful projects that require critical thinking, creativity, and communication in order for them to answer challenging questions or solve complex problems. By making learning relevant to them in this way, students see a purpose for mastering state required skills and content concepts.
(PBL) is the heart of the New Tech Network (NTN) instructional approach. After years of preparation and planning the New Tech Network design principles, it was in the 2013-2014 school year that Washington Discovery Academy successfully completed the first full year as a NTN school! The completion of our New Tech Network accreditation allows WDA the honor of being one of very few elementary schools in the country to qualify with this distinctive honor.
During the preparation, Washington Discovery Academy leaders worked with the NTN Development team on implementation, while visiting existing NTN schools to support their successful first year launch.
Now Washington Discovery Academy hosts teachers, administrators, parents, and school board members throughout the country who are interested in converting their elementary school into a NTN elementary school.
Students learning in the NTN instructional approach aren’t just assessed on their understanding of academic content, but on their ability to successfully apply that content when solving authentic problems. Through this process, PBL gives students the opportunity to develop the real life skills required for success in today’s world.
Plymouth Community School administrators, teachers and parents have already been able to see the positive transformative changes in our students who are enrolled in our existing NTN programs. The NTN approach has been implemented at the Weidner School of Inquiry at PHS for students at the high school level, and also at both Innovation Academy at LJH for seventh and eighth grade students, as well as at Innovation Academy at RIS for fifth and sixth grade students.
1) Paul Buck Director, New School Development – As a Director of New School Development, Paul’s primary focus is to help cultivate and support new Midwestern schools in the planning and implementation of the New Tech Model.
2) Alan Veach Director of Regional Development
3) Jennifer Knebel, a first grade teacher at Washington Discovery Academy introduces the new project to our first grade students Wednesday afternoon. The first grade has been challenged to give back and make a difference in our community and world.
4) First grade teacher Katie Straub introduces our next project to her class at Washington Discovery Academy. The students are being challenged to make a difference in the world and our community.
Plymouth High School senior Brooke Wagner was the photographer.
Story by PCSC