You may have noticed the huge renovation project going on at North High School – 501 Holcomb – which includes new offices, internet wiring, bio-thermal heating and cooling, new windows, paint, new ceilings, flooring, and countless other improvements. However, the new administration led by Principal Matt Smith are aggressively working to make many positive and innovative changes to the way they educate North High students, as well. It is working; in the last year the school has seen a 19% gain in ITED test scores.
Recently, Mid City attended a lunch and learn at North to hear about the improvements and new teaching methods. The most exciting thing about the presentation was that it was entirely student led. Three students – Victoria, Daniel, and Victor – gave an outstanding presentation about how today’s high school student is a different kind of learner. We watched a great video* created by the students about how important it is to use technology in today’s learning environment, allowing students to be more competitive in the job market.
Enter the 1:1 program. The Polar Bears will be participating in a pilot program starting next year that will give every student a laptop computer. Students will be able to have their homework with them on the laptop so NO MORE EXCUSES about not having it. Every classroom at the school will have its own WiFi hub fully linked with the rest of the school. This will allow the staff to integrate every subject – whether it is science, math, and reading or music and gym – into a technologically advanced learning environment. 1:1 also opens up a new world to the non- traditional high school student; those that are young parents and can’t attend regular school hours for example can still participate in school because of this program’s ability for online classes.
North High intends to roll out the computers at Parent Teacher conferences on October 12th. They will also provide computer training for parents at that time, to keep them on track with their child’s learning. This program will not just be affecting the students, and the school is fully on board to work with families.
It was an exciting presentation. The important thing we came away with was that it wasn’t just the 1:1 program that was changing North High but an enthusiastic School Improvement Team along with the implementation of new policies designed to hold students accountable. We are excited to see what the future holds for North High.
*We hope to post the student video presentations on Mid City Connection very soon.