Normally when you think of Orlando, Florida, you imagine golf, theme parks and plenty of sunshine. For 26 teachers, administrators and coaches, a week in Orlando meant a deep dive into New Tech Network's annual conference to prepare themselves to welcome more than 500 incoming Freshmen to The 9X Impact!
Chris Brooks, principal, and Breen Slauter, assistant principal, told us about their experience, and how they opted not to go see a certain famed mouse, but rather network and learn from their peers, some of whom came from around the world, like Australia.
"We attended a specific track at the NTN, specifically for schools who are new to New Tech Network," said Mr. Brooks. "New Tech 101 is where we work on project-based learning designs and create projects with specific learning outcomes."
"You start with a driving question, and each product will be graded on a series of rubrics including: Agency, Collaboration, Knowledge and Thinking, Oral Communications and Written Communications," he said. "These five rubrics will be included in every project, and will allow students to involve experts, create 'need-to-knows,' formative and summative assessments and more to result in an end project."
After two days of the New Tech 101 track, they came together as a school group to work on adult and learning culture. Thursday, they were able to experience the conference.
"We are so excited about this whole experience," said Mr. Brooks. "We have been working with New Tech Network since January and their process is seamless."
"We are going to focus on making sure we have a collaborative, adult learning culture and set expectations, as everyone will be working together in some capacity every day," he said.
"The teachers are very gung-ho," added Ms. Slauter. "One of the big takeaways from the conference was how much we would focus on adult relationships and create trust within our group which we will then pass along to our students."
"The New Tech Network Conference allowed us a chance to really get to know each other," she said.
A total of 34 teachers, coaches, counselors, intervention specialists and more will be working with The 9X Impact. "We are especially excited to partner with Eastland-Fairfield Career and Technical Center for a career connections class," said Mr. Brooks. "Everything the students do will be engaging, relevant and exciting. These projects will give our students the exposure to pathways within our four academies so they choose the best learning journey for themselves." Ms. Kim Cox is also an AP for The 9X Impact.
Social and emotional learning will also be a large focus withing The 9X Impact. "Everything will be built on trust, so we can embed that into everything we do," said Mr. Brooks.