Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES will open Seven Valleys New Tech Academy in Cortland County in Fall 2016, the organization announced this week. The creation of the school was announced last July.
The school will serve area high school students in grades 9-12, and will provide an innovative learning environment that aims to improve students’ college and career readiness through project-based learning, collaborative workspace and technology. The school will also be a site for teacher training. Seven Valleys New Tech Academy will be located at 240 Port Watson Street, Cortland.
“We are excited to bring this state-of-the-art learning environment to the students and educators of Cortland County,” says OCM BOCES Superintendent J. Francis Manning. “The school is the culmination of years of planning—with all of the school superintendents working together on the concept and planning. Businesses, too, are providing direction and connections to the real-world.”
The creation of Seven Valleys New Tech Academy is OCM BOCES’ latest step in its fulfillment of the Central New York Regional Vision for College, Career and Citizenship Readiness, a steadfast commitment to preparing students for their future as lifelong learners, as skilled workers or entrepreneurs, and as global citizens.
The school will accommodate 100 students and employ nine teachers and staff. Renovations of the building have commenced and are expected to be completed in July 2016. The school will feature modern classrooms, collaborative learning spaces, computers for all faculty and students, and a conference facility where teachers will come to learn about the school and project-based learning.
Seven Valleys New Tech Academy joins Innovation Tech High School, which OCM BOCES opened in Liverpool in 2014, as the first and only two New Tech schools in Central New York. New Tech schools are part of the New Tech Network, a non-profit organization that provides services and support nationwide to schools, districts and communities for developing public schools in which project-based learning is the primary instructional approach. Founded in Napa, California, in 1996, New Tech is made up approximately 175 schools in 28 states, China and Australia.
The New Tech Network and the CNY Regional Vision share three main tenets, which are “instruction that engages,” “culture that empowers,” and “technology that enables,” a philosophy which strives to empower students with engaging instruction and real-world learning opportunities, while providing a collaborative, interactive, technology-based learning environment.