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Is High Tech High at Liberty Station smoke and mirrors?

I also am a parent of both a graduate and current student at HTHI. While my boys are very different from each other, the school met, and continues to meet, their unique needs. Truly, for my older son the school was life changing, as a matter of fact, his college essay was about how much HTHI helped him evolve into the passionate, engaged, learner that he has become. Certainly, the project based environment, where there is less structure, is not for everyone...but it worked for him. As an example, when he was in the 11th grade he asked if he could sit in on the 12th grade calculus class while he did his art projects. He was welcomed to do it as long as the art got done. He spent the second semester in his junior year sitting at the back of the room on the floor during art class listening to a teacher who inspired him. Turns out that my son’s passion for neuroscience came from this teacher in this less than traditional way. In his senior year he spent his month internship at a world renowned lab where they are doing research on stem cells and Alzheimer’s. What an experience! ( He was, btw asked to come back and intern over the summer, which he did.) Talk about project based learning and real world connection at its best! He is now at a CSU, majoring in Biology, and he is struggling along with the rest of them!! In other words, he is doing just fine. My other son is driven. His intellect and soul are being fed beautifully at HTHI. In 11th and 12th grade they are offered honors classes and he will be taking the AP test this year in history. In addition, they offer college classes in the 12th grade...visiting professors come in to teach and college credits given. The beauty of a project based environment, the sky is the limit as far as learning goes. This, is a key piece of the puzzle. These kids are expected to own, and be an active participant, in their education. Are there kids that do the absolute minimum and don’t really care? Yes, just like in any school. Although I have seen the HTH system work its magic on my eldest, it is not a magic pill. I think that is what some people expect it to be. It is our responsibility, as parents, to be on top of things. HTH has always been very open about what gets covered, or not covered, in project based learning. What the kids learn, they learn in depth. But, it is impossible to ‘teach’ 548 pages of textbook information in a semester with project based learning - and so there will be holes. Here’s the thing, we all knew that going in. Anyone, parent or student, who is surprised simply wasn’t listening. If you want to fill in the holes it is up to you to supplement. For my family it is well worth it.
— September 29, 2013 3:47 p.m.
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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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