(SAN DIEGO) Not all students learn best in the same settings. In California, that belief has led to the development of a different type of school, that’s proving to be just what some students need to find inspiration.
“It’s very different from other schools,” said senior Elmar Javadov. “I think the best way to put it is that it took a risk to be as diverse as it is right now.”
Javadov’s Innovative high school is High Tech High, Media Arts.
The San Diego school is part of a network of High Tech Schools. They are independent, public charter schools, with each offering a different focus for students, all with the idea of “Connecting Classrooms to the World.”
At High Tech High, Media Arts, the college prep also has an emphasis on creativity.
“I would say we are really hands-on, we are really collaborative, we are really focused on project work and making sure that students kind of take ownership of their learning and it’s student centered as opposed to teacher centered like in some more traditional schools,“ said Paul Yumbla, Director. “Deeper learning, peer-to-peer collaboration, cross discipline, as well as publicly displaying our students’ learning, in the hopes that they can really excel in their passions and their interest.“
One of the most successful project based endeavors at High Tech High is furniture making, that means making intricate and well-designed pieces like these and auctioning them off, for charity.
”I think this school has mainly helped me find my true passions,” said senior Karla Vasquez. “There’s so much freedom of expression in your work .”
Everywhere you look at High Tech High Media Arts, you’ll find students working on different forms of the arts.
But even their traditional subjects are approached with creativity.
“It’s a poem to ourselves because it’s English.”
The same advisor is with students through-out their four year journey and they are in contact with parents through in-home visits.
“I’m really proud of him and that he is going to college, I’m really proud of him, ” said mother Maggie Fragoso.
Using standard metrics, such as SAT scores and its 85 percent college acceptance rate, High Tech High, is deemed a High Performance School.
“It might look different but I think we are moving the needle forward around those conversations as to what learning could look like,” said Yumbla.
It’s an innovative school mixing creative outlets with rigorous academics as well.