HTH Design Principles Checklist
High Tech High schools foster student engagement by knowing students well, tapping into students’ experiences and interests, and building a strong sense of community.
- small learning community (maximum 125 students per grade)
- advisory program for all students
- projects reflect students’ interests and passions
- integrated support services for students with needs
Adult World Connection—
All students engage in community-based learning, collaborating with adults on meaningful work that extends beyond the school walls.
- students participate in internships, field studies, and other community-based learning
- student projects contribute to the workplace or community
- students regularly exhibit their work to authentic adult audiences
- students have one-on-one relationships with adults in field placements
Common Intellectual Mission—
All students graduate ready for post-secondary education, work, and citizenship.
- non-selective student admissions; student population is representative of the local school district population
- students are not tracked into classes by race, class, or perceived academic ability
- technical and academic learning are integrated across the curriculum
- school has a full-time college counselor/placement officer
Teacher as Designer—
Teachers work in interdisciplinary teams to develop curricula and programs for 50-70 students per team.
- teaching staff includes experienced master teachers, recent university graduates, and professionals from the world of work
- curriculum is designed by teachers and reflects their passions
- teachers meet in teams at least one hour daily for planning and staff development
- teachers participate in hiring and orientation of new staff
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
How does the school ensure that each student is known well by at least one adult?
How does the school make the adult world of work visible and accessible to all students?
What are the common expectations for all students, across all subject areas?
How is this a place where teachers can and do learn?
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