Building on foundations already established with the original incarnation of Woodruff Career and Technical Center, we will take this structure to the next level to create a school that provides 21st Century learning and transferable job skills for high-needs, at-risk students. Building on programs that have already proven to be successful at our school, we will add Internet Technology training, computer programming, robotics, game design, graphic design and other courses structured around the most up to date and innovative technologies and practices. The merits and value of career and technical education (CTE) were expressed eloquently by the First Lady, Michelle Obama, this past summer (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9qygsXcRxI). The career and technical course work will be coupled with a rigorous academic course load that will prepare students for their scholarly endeavors in college and university. Through a liberal studies foundation, students will continue to gain 21st Century skills by using the latest educational technologies, such as incorporating Google for Education, creating an environment of technological empowerment not available to our student population which will enable students to harness the power of the digital age to ensure a brighter future. In looking at our community and the students that we serve in our school district we need to make sure that we are addressing the needs of the students in order to help change the paradigm regarding race and place. Too often students, their parents, and the communities in which they live are disconnected from resources that will provide support and structure in order to ensure success both academically and economically. Addressing our students social-emotional needs will be a crucial aspect of ensuring success beyond the courses offered. We will employ Restorative Justice practices in order empower all people involved in the school - students, teachers, and parents. Restorative justice is a way to build community in the school that will help to build bridges to connect the disconnected and move away from the zero tolerance policies that have been used for discipline. We strongly believe that centering our high tech school on career and technical education along with Restorative Justice will build a foundation of success for our students as they approach life after high school.
We envision students harnessing the power of CTE by working with the latest technologies in 3D printing , building robots for competitions, and developing programming. The CTE experience will also focus on building relationships with local businesses, such as Caterpillar, to allow us to put together a structure for job shadowing partnerships for our students to connect them to the experiences in the working world they might not otherwise be exposed to. At the core of the learning experience will be competency-based learning delivered using blended learning models. This will start by exposing our freshmen classes to the foundational understandings of competency-based learning and the functions of the blended learning models experience. We will be able to build a learning culture where our students will develop the skills necessary to demonstrate the mastery and self-pacing in order to be successful. In order to aid in this quest for mastery and self-pacing, we will develop the process of praise that will center on effort, strategies, and the process of learning. This will be done by implementing Growth Mindset practices in order to provide students with the confidence to embrace failures and struggles as starting points to deeper learning and understand that they can grow intellectually regardless of their current station in life. Too often students allow failure to define who they are but with the Growth Mindset we will be able to change that thinking so that our students define themselves with their effort. Students will be exposed to cross-curricular classes that center on project-based learning. One component of this will be seen by incorporating the concept of 20 Time Projects which give students the opportunity to have choice in their learning experience. All of the aforementioned experiences will be fully incorporated into our 1:1 environment through the structure of being a Google School. These CTE and academic endeavors will be coupled with a fitness and wellness program designed around a state of the art fitness and community center where students will take part in general fitness classes along with Yoga and meditation coupled with community outreach programs. These core experiences will provide a holistic environment built on preparing our students to be be self-motivated, 21st Century learners capable of embracing the challenges that will come their way.