Dear Friends and Families of Trade Tech,
I am always asked how we are different. Everything we do answers that question. Yes we are a traditional high school in that we meet 5 days a week and have English, Math and Social Studies, but that really is the end of the comparison. Some look at sites that tell you about test scores and I can tell you that ours have always been tough to follow. Trade Tech does hold the record of highest API growth in the state, over 100 points in a single year. It truly is not impressive, but shows how ludicrous that evaluation system is. When you look at the fact that we only had 20 or so students testing that year and 30% of the students were not here the year before, it kind of invalidates all testing measures of different students from year to year. Now, we are an alternative high school in California and do not have a "Dashboard" yet. So, again, traditional measures are not there for us. We are not perfect and are always trying to get better to meet the needs of all of our students.
What really makes us different is our focus on Relationships, then Relevance and Rigor. Students engage when they are a part of a team that cares about them. Our small classes and hands-on work lends to students engaging in their studies. Yes, the students still have homework, but we try to make it reasonable and not for the sake of assigning more work.
We have put in place a common sense approach to learn. We are a school to career high school. College and post-secondary education is what you do on the way to your career. Unfortunately, our society has place a huge pressure on college degrees for the sake of college degrees. Unless a student has researched and explored careers, they do not understand the true value further education, whether it is technical training, certifications or college degrees.
So, can our students go to college? Yes last year, a senior was accepted to UC Irvine, UC Riverside, SDSU, CSUSM and was offered a full ride at Vasser in New York. This year, we have a student planning to attend Mt. St. Mary's in the fall. Many of our student transfer to Palomar or Mira Costa. Most of those already have earned college credit either on our campus or at their campuses.
Another difference, we look at students as individuals in our Advisory program and try to help them determine strengths that will lead them to a successful career.
Our curricular pathways are designed to work with students to help develop themselves. All our juniors are required to take Personal Finance. They learn how to budget, do taxes and invest.