Announcement from New Tech Network in Napa:
The “Best in Network” Award for Problem Solving Experience was presented to Peter Abboud of Napa New Technology High School in Napa, for his project “QUADRATIC EQUATIONS” at the recent New Tech Network Annual Conference (NTAC) in New Orleans, Louisiana.
New Tech Network annually gives the “Best in Network” award to a teacher who exemplifies the goal of: "Building Bridges in Local and Global Communities by Providing Authentic Learning Experiences for Their Students.”
The “Quadratic Equations” experience was initiated by Mr. Abboud, a teacher on special assignment with the Napa Valley Unified School District (NVUSD), who graduated from Napa New Tech in 2004 and went on to UC Davis where he studied biochemistry and molecular biology.
"Mr. Abboud is deserving of this honor, and we are so proud of his work. He is leading our math team to transform students’ mathematical thinking and understanding. We are seeing increases in student confidence and passion for math, as well as gains in their learning as measured by standardized assessments," said Napa New Tech High Principal Michelle Spencer.
The project focused on three problems in non-linear algebra that dealt with quadratic equations.
Students watched a video of snow falling and calculated how much snow would fall in a 24-hour period; viewed a clip of the movie “Hot Rod” and determined mathematically if Andy Samberg cleared the jump; and watched an 8-second clip from “Les Miserables” where Javert jumps off a bridge while singing to determine how tall the bridge would need to be for Javert to complete the song before hitting the water. (See attached VIDEO.)
“The students were really engaged and excited,” said Abboud. “They liked the deep use of technology as well as the problems and questions posed. It was a multi-media rich problem with various technology tools to support mathematical thinking.”
"Experiences like ‘Quadratic Equations’ inspire us all," said Tim Presiado, interim President of New Tech Network. "On behalf of the entire New Tech Network community, it is my pleasure to recognize the outstanding teaching and learning demonstrated here. The 'Best in Network" award for Problem Solving Experience is another way New Tech Network not only provides tools to move education forward, but also provides examples of the best way to use those tools. The project acts as clear evidence that all students can engage while preparing with both academic knowledge and the skills necessary to be college and career ready."
Abboud’s achievement was applauded by more than 1,600 principals, teachers, superintendents, alumni and students — representing more than 150 schools nationwide — attending this year’s conference which was held July 7-11, 2014. The five-day conference built upon New Tech’s momentum and showcased its district-wide growth and kindergarten through 12 emphasis.
This year’s conference addressed the question — Are you an ‘Agent for Impact’? Acting as an ‘Agent for Impact’ means focusing on ways to build high quality schools. According to Presiado, “There’s nothing more important than making the changes in our educational system that generate the best in our schools today. Our objective is to assure that every student gets the kind of education that will help them achieve success in college and career.”
Sharing and learning is the hallmark of New Tech Network’s learning philosophy. This year’s Conference focused on Agency--teaching students to develop a growth mindset; to use effort and practice to grow and seek challenges; and to learn the skills to rebound from setbacks and build confidence--and the impact teachers and administrators have on building high quality schools. Sessions followed learning pathways from New Tech’s “School Success Rubric” and included Impacting Outcomes, Partnerships, Leadership and Culture.
The goal of NTAC is to “provide a venue where hundreds of educators spend a week seeing old friends, getting energized about making new ones, exchanging new ideas, challenging each other to reach new heights, sharing best practices, creating new “agents” and shaping better “agents” to be more effective in making an impact out in the field,” said Presiado.
New Tech Network recently announced it will spin-out from KnowledgeWorksFoundation to become an independent non-profit organization. The spinout is being led by long time NTN supporter and KnowledgeWorks board member Barry Schuler.
“We know how to enable districts to re-imagine schools so that students graduate from high school equipped with the skills and knowledge essential to thrive in today’s ever-changing global economy,” said Schuler. “We now have the data to support our promise to every type of community. It is time to hit the accelerator so we can impact more students.”
First introduced in Napa in 1996, the New Tech model has proven successful across diverse student populations in urban, rural, and suburban public high schools. New Tech is emerging as one of the fastest-growing approaches to transforming high school education in the U.S.
For a full list of New Tech schools, visit our website at:
To see New Tech’s highly successful approach in action, please visit: http://www.newtechnetwork.org/inside_newtech
The New Tech design is a blueprint, accompanied by a set of core beliefs, tools, and strategies to help each school fulfill its purpose. New Tech design principles provide for an instructional approach centered on project-based learning, a culture that empowers students and teachers, and integrated use of technology in the classroom. Through extensive professional development, personalized coaching and access to Echo, a learning management system, NTN empowers principals, teachers, and students to develop compelling, relevant and meaningful learning communities.
Longtime philanthropic supporters of NTN include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation.