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School Baord Chairman Andy Dance
Palm Coast Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013 4 years ago

New technology-based academy coming to Flagler Schools?

by: Andrew OBrien Contributing Writer

As the Flagler County School District continues to transform with technology, Flagler Palm Coast High School could soon get a technology-based program that could offer a more personalized approach to learning.

The School Board on Tuesday unanimously approved an application to bring a New Tech Network program to FPC, beginning as soon as next school year.

The New Tech Network is a nonprofit based in Napa, Calif., that supports implementation and sustainability of problem-solving skills.

District officials said Tuesday that the addition of the program falls in line with the district’s new vision.

“We can be behind the curve, at the curve, or ahead of the curve,” Assistant Superintendent Jacob Oliva said. “When you look at your vision statement ... the will of this board and our school system is to be ahead of the curve. New Tech Academy would do that.”

While the new program will offer “tremendous opportunities” for high school students, it comes at a price: Officials estimate it would cost about $403,000 over a five-year period.

There will be training and travel costs, too. FPC principal Lynette Shott and teacher Kerri Sands were approved as part of Tuesday’s vote to attend training in Fort Wayne, Ind., which will cost $2,224.

The purpose is to send Shott and Sands off that way they can come back and share the knowledge they gain with rest of the district — and other districts.

The program, if Flagler’s application is accepted by New Tech Network, would begin at FPC in the 2013-2014 school year.

Although it’ll be housed in FPC, it will be school choice and open to all Flagler students.

In the first year, the academy would be available to 70 freshmen and 60 sophomores. By the fourth year, about 290 students would be in the program for all four high school grades.

The School Board’s application must be approved by New Tech Network, Oliva said.

School Board member Sue Dickinson made the motion to approve the application, adding: “It’s a win-win. The opportunity is here, folks.”

Fischer seconded, “We’re putting Flagler on the map again.”

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