The New Tech Network has released the 2013 Report of Student Outcomes. This report offers compelling evidence that the public school innovation envisioned by New Tech Network can, and does,lead to success for students from diverse backgrounds, in rural, urban and suburban schools across the U.S.New Tech Network Students:
•Graduate at a rate 6% greater than the national average.
•Enroll in college at a rate 9% greater than the national average.
•Persist in 4-year colleges at a rate 17% greater than the national average and in 2-year colleges at a rate 46% greater than the national average.
•Grow 75% more in higher order thinking skills between freshmen and senior years than comparison groups.
Linda Darling-Hammond, Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education at the Stanford University School of Education, includes New Tech Network schools in a class of schools that “break[s] the conventional links between race, poverty, and academic failure. Not only do their students receive an academically rigorous curriculum that prepares them for college and career, they also experience learning opportunities that are culturally rich, socially and practically relevant, and responsive to their needs and interests.”
The full report can be read here
Weidner School of Inquiry @ PHS Parent/Teacher Conferences will be held on Wednesday evening April 17 - 6:00 to
8:00. Walk in conferences with teachers will be available from 6:00PM-6:30PM. Pre-scheduled
appointments will take place from 6:30 – 8:00 in 15 minute intervals. It is greatly encouraged that
students accompany their parents to the pre-scheduled appointments. Parents who wish to be included
in the appointments for that night should contact Mrs. Flynn to schedule appointments with their learner's teachers.
Weidner School of Inquiry Guest Speaker All American Stephon Tuitt, Defensive End, Notre Dame Football Player spoke today to our Learners at the Weidner School of Inquiry. Stephon spoke about setting and reaching personal goals and how adversity can be a positive in obtaining those goals. Stephon also spoke about how respect and responsibility all fit into each of their "big pictures."
On Wednesday, January 23, the Plymouth Speech and Debate Team held its Novice Awards program. Over 50 Plymouth High School students competed during the novice season prior to Christmas. All who attended were recognized during the program and were sworn in as members of the National Forensic League. All were asked to uphold the core values of the NFL - values which include "integrity, humility, respect, leadership, and service in the pursuit of excellence." Many of these same students are competing as members of the Spring Travel Squad. Pictured are the nine students from the Weidner School of Inquiry were inducted in to the National Forensic League for their accomplishments this year as Novice Speech Team members.
Weidner School of Inquiry learners Curtis Smith, Ricky Cooper, John Hunter, and Melanie Cooper competed at the District Business Professionals of America Competition in Warsaw. Lead by Jennifer Felke (WSOI Director of Staff Development) all four students finished in the top 10 in their events, with Curtis Smith capturing first place in both of his events (Extemporaneous Speech and Broadcast News Team). John and Ricky joined Curtis on the Broadcast News Team and also advanced in the Individual Presentation Management competition placing first and second respectively. Melanie competed in the Graphic Design and Interview Skills competitions, placing in the top 10 in each. Curtis, John and Ricky all advanced to the State Finals March 10-12 in Indianapolis. Congratulations to the our learners and Coach Felke.
On Wednesday, January 16
the Weidner School of Inquiry
will welcome current 8th grade students from Lincoln Junior High School to PHS f
or an Open House. Students and parents in the Weidner School of Inquiry @ PHS are invited to stop by room 109 for a come and go reception from 6:00-6:30
. During this same time, students can visit Departmental Displays in the PHS Cafeteria
, all freshman students and parents will gather in the HS Auditorium for a presentation from the school administration and guidance staff. Following this presentation, at 7:15 students and parents will be able to take guided tours of PHS.
From 6:30-8:30 Parent-Teacher Conferences
. From 6:30-7:45 teachers will be available by prior appointment to meet with parents and students. From 7:45-8:30 teachers will be accepting drop in conferences.
Earlier this fall, School of Inquiry students Terence Hooten and Lauren Deisch were interviewed for an article on collaboration in the classroom that was to be published on the Huffington Post website. The article, written by New Tech Network CEO Lydia Dobbins, features Terence and Lauren reflecting on how they use various technology tools to collaborate with their peers on projects in the School of Inquiry. Some excerpts of their thoughts are featured below.
"We collaborate with each other in groups to work on our projects," said Terrance. "We share ideas and take the best ones and go forward with our work."
The collaboration process also empowers students to make sure that everyone is pulling his or her weight. "We use 'strikes' to call out someone who is not staying on task or not working well with the group," explained Terrance. "Three strikes and you're out of the group, which helps make sure that everyone is doing their work."
One of the best outcomes of collaboration is the ability to keep in touch with other group members. "We need to constantly check on each other and working online with Google docs helps us get things done efficiently. We can talk to each other, make suggestions and ask questions. Since we can't always meet in person, using tools such as the 'Comment Bar' helps us move the project forward," said Lauren.
The Weidner School of Inquiry @PHS was recently featured on the High School Soup Blog at the Alliance for Excellent Education website. The post
highlights how the Weidner School of Inquiry @PHS has utilized flexible spaces and well thought out school design to help encourage collaboration among students and staff.
The Alliance for Excellent Education "is a Washington, DC-based national policy and advocacy organization that works to improve national and federal policy so that all students can achieve at high academic levels and graduate from high school ready for success in college, work, and citizenship in the twenty-first century. The Alliance focuses on America’s six million most at-risk secondary school students—those in the lowest achievement quartile—who are most likely to leave school without a diploma or to graduate unprepared for a productive future."
School to Officially Become the “Weidner School of Inquiry at PHS”
Plymouth, IN, Nov. 6, 2012 – During Tuesday evening’s Plymouth Community School Corporation Board Meeting, it was announced that the Board accepted a $100,000 donation to Plymouth High School’s School of Inquiry from Plymouth residents Daniel and Julie Weidner. In doing so, the Board also acknowledged that the School of Inquiry would accordingly be renamed the Weidner School of Inquiry at PHS.
“We’re excited about the opportunity to contribute to a program that we believe will positively impact hundreds, if not thousands, of lives in the community for generations to come,” said Dan Weidner, president of Plymouth-based Weidner & Company, P.C. who, along with his wife, Julie, is also a Plymouth High School graduate.
“As a businessman, I have no doubt that, beyond assisting the students themselves, this program will also contribute significantly to the success of businesses in the region and beyond by further preparing our future workforce through the real world insight and experience they gain through the Weidner School of Inquiry at PHS.”
Dan Tyree, Superintendent of the Plymouth Community School Corporation, said that the gift from the Weidner family will be felt immediately during the construction of the School of Inquiry’s permanent home in a renovated section of the high school.
“The bond for the construction of the building did not include loose equipment, so this contribution will go toward obtaining tangible items such as furniture for the office and learning spaces,” said Tyree “but it will also assist in the professional development of the teachers who are new to the program.”
Tyree went on to commend Dan Weidner and his family for providing an attainable business model for others to follow.
“An overriding theme for the School of Inquiry is entrepreneurship and we are fortunate that the Weidner family will be the named donor because they have a great reputation in the area and appropriately exemplify this theme of entrepreneurship,” said Tyree. “They’ve demonstrated that, if you work hard and are persistent, you can build a successful business in Plymouth and make it your lifelong home.”
Weidner & Company, P.C. has been in business since 1990 and currently employs 16 people at its Columbus Drive office – located just east of Plymouth High School. It is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Indiana CPA Society.
The Plymouth School of Inquiry is a unique, small learning community that utilizes project-based learning to create adaptive learners who have the necessary skills to thrive in an ever-changing global economy in which firm ground no longer exists and many jobs have yet to be invented. The Schools’ philosophy is based on the premise that these key skills include not only content knowledge but the ability to access and process information, to think creatively and critically, and to effectively communicate and leverage ideas to an ever-broadening personal network.
In the fall of 2012, the Plymouth School of Inquiry opened its doors for the first time and includes 102 enrolled freshman students.