As part of High Tech High, we are guided by four connected design principles—equity, personalization, authentic work, and collaborative design—that set aspirational goals and create a foundation for understanding our approach.
High Tech High is an equity project. Teachers work to address inequities and help students reach their full potential. Our schools are intentionally diverse and integrated, enrolling students through a zip code-based lottery aimed at creating schools that are reflective of the communities we serve. Teachers recognize the value of having students from different backgrounds working together, and employ a variety of approaches to accommodate diverse learners without academic tracking. High Tech High has an acute focus on college entrance and college completion for all students.
High Tech High teachers practice a learner-centered, inclusive approach that supports and challenges each student. Students pursue their passions through projects, and reflect on their learning. Recognizing that identity development and personal growth occur in the context of community, our schools foster relationships of trust, caring, and mutual respect among students and adults through program design elements such as small school size, small classes, home visits, advisories, and student collaborative work.
High Tech High school projects integrate hands and minds and incorporate inquiry across multiple disciplines, leading to the creation of meaningful and beautiful work. Students engage in work that matters to them, to their teachers, and to the world outside of school. Students connect their studies to the world through fieldwork, community service, internships, and consultation with outside experts. Our facilities are collaborative workplaces with small-group learning and project areas, relevant technology, and common spaces where artwork, prototypes, and other artifacts of student thinking are created and displayed.
High Tech High teachers collaborate to design curriculum and projects, lead professional development, and participate in hiring, while seeking student experience and voice in each of these areas. With students as design partners, staff function as reflective practitioners, conducting inquiry into equitable teaching and learning, school culture, project design, and authentic assessment. We are all still learning.
One question we are currently wrestling with: How do we support our students after they graduate?