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High Tech High

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  • BBracey@aol.com
    . High Tech High A California charter school provides a glimpse at what tomorrow
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 2, 2007

      High Tech High


      A California charter school provides a glimpse at
      what tomorrow will bring.

      By Owen Edwards

      Tech Knowledgy: Though it incorporates two older
      buildings, High Tech High-LA has a futurist feel.

      Call a school High Tech High, instead of, say,
      Benjamin Franklin High or Thomas Edison High --
      in other words, name it for technology itself
      instead of for some enshrined technologist --
      and you'll probably want to have the building
      as purpose driven as the name. This synchronicity
      of word and fact is brilliantly exemplified by
      the charter school that occupies an acre of the
      71-acre campus of Birmingham High School, in the
      Los Angeles suburb of Lake Balboa, California.

      Though it incorporates two older buildings from
      the factorymodel era of school building, High Tech
      High -- LA, with its curving glass walls, well-lit
      working areas, and expansive open-space floor plans,
      precisely expresses the intellectual ideal of public
      education in the new millennium.

      "Because the school was a public-private venture,
      we were given a lot of latitude," says Richard Berliner,
      principal of Berliner and Associates Architecture,
      in Los Angeles, who designed the school with senior
      project architect Mike Frey. "We got to do things
      that typically don't get done in high schools.
      Because much of what the school teaches is project based,
      it has a high tech corporate feel. Schools are evolving
      to reflect the environments people will be working in."

      The 27,000-square-foot school, which shares parking
      facilities and open space with the much larger Birmingham,
      offers just over 300 students, chosen by lottery, the
      opportunity to use the latest in digital technology to
      pursue what Principal Marsha Rybin describes as a
      "vigorous, real-world curriculum."

      Space Odyssey: The architects at Berliner and Associates
      created naturally lit open-plan areas, soaring industrial
      style ceilings, and interior windows connecting
      administrators to students to emulate informationage


      The complete article may be read at the URL above.

      This article is also published in
      Edutopia magazine's March 2007 issue.

      Bonnie Bracey Sutton
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