FAQs - New Tech Network

How was the first New Tech high school started?
The first New Tech high school was founded in 1996 in Napa, CA, when local business leaders, frustrated by the lack of skilled graduates ready for the 21st century workplace, came together with the idea of starting a school that would teach the skills necessary to thrive in the new economy. That school was Napa New Technology High School in Napa, California.

Napa New Tech's success has become a national model for innovation and excellence in high school education. By traditional measures, New Tech students surpass their state and local peers with high attendance, graduation rates and test scores. They also emerge with 21st century skills and ready for college and the careers of the future.

How many New Tech schools are there and where are they located?
The New Tech Network encompasses 62 public high schools in California, Colorado, Hawaii Indiana, Louisiana, Illinois, Michigan, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, South Dakota, Texas and Washington.

The New Tech model is flexible enough to succeed in a variety of settings, including stand-alone facilities, schools co-located on larger campuses, new schools or existing conversions, charter schools and schools in rural, urban and suburban areas.

Propelled by the success of our schools, we plan to significantly expand our national footprint over the next several years, adding schools in states where we already operate and launching in new states across the country.

What makes New Tech high schools different from traditional high schools?
The New Tech model embraces three key elements that set our schools apart from traditional high schools.

  1. Engaging and rigorous instruction. Project-based learning (PBL) is at the heart of the New Tech instructional approach. PBL uses technology and inquiry to engage students with issues and questions that are relevant to their lives.
  2. Collaborative culture. New Tech's culture empowers students and teachers. Each school has a unique identity that promotes trust, respect and responsibility. At New Tech schools, students have exceptional ownership of their learning experience and are given a level of responsibility similar to what they might experience in a professional workplace.
  3. Technology fully applied. Smart use of technology supports our innovative approaches to instruction and culture. All classrooms have a 1:1 computing ratio. Networked computers become tools for students to become self-directed learners who no longer rely primarily on teachers or textbooks for knowledge.

For more about the New Tech model of teaching and learning, see the Our model page in the About section of our website - www.newtechnetwork.org.

Does New Tech address state and local educational standards?
Yes, all New Tech schools provide a standards based education that meets, and often exceeds, state and local requirements. With project-based learning, teachers design academically rigorous projects tied to standards.

What does New Tech mean by 21st century skills?
At New Tech schools, students are evaluated not only on how proficient they are on traditional subject matter, but also on their progress in mastering 21st century skills, such as critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, communication, technology fluency, creativity, information and media literacy, and contextual learning. We believe 21st century skills such as these are vital to success in post-secondary education, career and life.

How are New Tech schools started?
New Tech schools are started at the initiative of high schools, districts, states and government, business and community leaders who are looking for an alternative to the traditional educational approach offered by public high schools. These parties contact New Tech with inquiries and together we begin the process of starting a new school.

How does New Tech Network work with schools?
New Tech Network is a non-profit school development organization that guides schools through every phase of planning, starting, running and continually innovating a New Tech school. We work hand-in-hand with principals, teachers, district administration and staff to provide the support, training and coaching they need to successfully implement and manage the New Tech model.

Before starting a New Tech school, districts must lay a solid foundation for our model by committing to the basic conditions critical for school success. These include school autonomy, small school size and 1:1 computing.

Can I tour a New Tech high school?
Yes, we welcome groups and individuals to join us for tours of schools in the New Tech Network. Tours are open to educators, business leaders, community leaders, economic developers and members of the media. The purpose of these visits is to give an overview of the New Tech High School model and allow visitors to experience it first hand through classroom observation and student and teacher interaction.

Nineteen New Tech schools are specially established as Demonstration Sites for tours. A Demonstration Site has shown exceptional achievement and fidelity to the New Tech model.

Learn more about the New Tech Network


The New Tech website is a good source of information about our organization. Visit www.newtechnetwork.org for bios, videos, school profiles, tour information, press releases and news, as well as a description of our services and how we work with schools.

New Tech Network is a subsidiary of KnowledgeWorks Foundation. Cincinnati, OH-based KnowledgeWorks strives to be a national leader in developing and implementing innovative and effective approaches to high school education. New Tech integrated with KnowledgeWorks in October 2009 in order to accelerate the growth of New Tech high schools nationwide.

Have more questions?
Get in touch with New Tech.
General inquiries:
(707) 253-6951