Fort Wayne Community Schools Media Release
New Tech Network (NTN) has named Towles New Tech Middle School as a National Demonstration Site in the New Tech Network. Towles New Tech has demonstrated successful implementation of the New Tech school model so that students gain the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in life, college and the careers of tomorrow.
“We applaud the significant work necessary for schools to meet the demonstration site criteria. We consider them exemplary schools within the New Tech Network of nearly 200 schools. Through the school’s hard work, students are better prepared for life and college and they have also developed a deep love of learning,” said NTN President and CEO Lydia Dobyns.
To receive this prestigious distinction, Towles New Tech demonstrated many notable accomplishments. The school had to develop a clear set of student learning outcomes consistent with skills required to succeed in college, career or civic life. These include content mastery tied to state standards as well as work ethic/collaboration, critical thinking and oral and written communication. All courses demonstrated rigorous and relevant Project-Based Learning (PBL) to amplify deeper learning while engaging students in the classroom and within the greater Fort Wayne community. The deep integration and use of technology is present in all classrooms. Finally, a school culture that establishes students at the center, built on trust, respect and responsibility must be evident throughout the school.
Towles New Tech Middle School opened in 2013 with its first class of 121 students. The school is now in its fourth year and has an enrollment of 159 students. The mission of Towles New Tech mission is to support the development of student resiliency necessary to succeed in a rapidly changing world and meet the high standards of universities and businesses. Towles New Tech students advance on to New Tech Academy at Wayne High School, which opened in 2009 and has previously been designated as a New Tech Demonstration Site.
“We are really proud that New Tech Network has named our school as a Demonstration Site for this school year. We feel like this designation is a reflection of the hard work and care for students that our staff members display every day,” Towles New Tech Director Derek Leininger said.
Demonstration sites play a key role in showcasing the New Tech model in action by opening their campus to other communities. Towles New Tech will host tours for national, state and local schools and districts to experience a New Tech school firsthand. Visitors will take part in student-led tours to learn about the fundamentals of the school, including project-based learning examples, integrated use of technology and the culture shift that is integral to every New Tech. Last year, NTN schools hosted thousands of visitors from across the country. In addition to tours, demonstration sites play an important role in hosting New Tech training events. These trainings often provide an authentic immersion experience for teachers and administrators as new districts and communities prepare to open and teach in their own schools.
New Tech Network recently released its 2016 Outcomes Report showing strong success among four key findings:.
New Tech Network Students:
Graduate from high school at a rate 9% greater than the national average
New Tech students grow 61% more in higher order thinking skills between freshman and senior years than comparison group
Attend college at 70%
Persist in college in 4-year colleges at a rate of 92% and in 2-year colleges at a of rate 72% over the past five years
“We are pleased that Towles New Tech Middle School has been selected as a 2016-17 New Tech Demonstration Site,” said Dr. Wendy Robinson, Superintendent of Fort Wayne Community Schools. “At Fort Wayne Community Schools, we are committed to ensuring all students are educated to high standards, and the New Tech program at Towles exemplifies that mission. FWCS joined the New Tech Network in 2009 with New Tech Academy at Wayne High School, and in 2013, we added the middle school component at Towles. We are proud of the staff, students and families at Towles for committing to and succeeding in this program.”
With nearly 30,000 students, Fort Wayne Community Schools is one of the largest school districts in Indiana. FWCS proudly allows families to choose any of its 50 schools through its successful school-choice program creating diversity in each school, including some with more than 75 languages spoken. FWCS offers seven magnet schools focusing on areas such as science and math, communication, fine arts or Montessori at the elementary and middle school level. In high school, students can choose from the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, Project Lead the Way or New Tech Academy as well as other rigorous academic and specialty training programs.