High Tech High prepares each student for the workforce. Today's employers want to hire those with highly sought-after skills, such as good collaboration, public speaking and presenting, abstract thinking, and more.
The focus is on in-class projects and activities, though many teachers choose to enrich their students' learning through homework -- though nothing that will keep them up all night and away from their extracurriculars! I am a former student and I feel that the amount of homework was never overwhelming. There is never any busy work.
Through their projects, activities, extracurriculars, and class discussions, as well as small class sizes, students develop strong senses of empathy and compassion. By senior year, the students all understand and support each other very well, and no name goes unknown.
You want the truth? Here it is: High Tech High Chula Vista is absolutely the best thing that happened to me, and so many of my fellow alumni. Prospective parents, please don't force resistant children into this school -- the students who would rather be at a traditional public school with their middle school friends were also the ones who let their negativity GREATLY affect their work and experience (teenagers, I know). But, as for everyone else who appreciated being there, we had a fantastic time. We got real-world, hands-on experiences -- we could actually put some of our projects and other experiences (such as our internships!) into our resumes! No longer did we have to ask, "Why are we learning this?" I highly recommend calling in to see if you can get a tour from the fantastic Student Ambassadors, or if there are any upcoming project exhibitions you can attend in order to get a taste of High Tech High Chula Vista. You can also find some great articles about the pedagogy and projects online. HTHCV is truly an innovative school for the modern world, and I guarantee you will be wowed!
HTHCV doesn't have silly, nonsensical rules. What rules we do have foster an environment of professionalism and teamwork. The Dean of Students is in charge of enforcing these rules, and he does an absolutely amazing job understanding the students. As the years go by, students become more and more appreciative of what they have, and through their experiences, become more honest, fair young adults with lots of integrity.
My child was a 2011 graduate from the inaugural class at this school. Given that the school started for my child as a freshman, when they were still housed as at Mater Dei, and continued to add a new freshman class each year, it wasn't until my child was a senior that there was a full 4 classes of students. Hence, there was A LOT of change. The director has since been reassigned but those early years were rough! I frequently was surprised with how disorganized the whole set-up was, the kids had the run of the place at times with very inexperienced, albeit passionate, young teachers. However, my child has just started graduate school at a top 10 university in the country, and graduated in 4 years with a double major from a top 20 university. My child left HTHCV WELL PREPARED for college. This environment will work well for goal-directed children who want to be at school to learn. For some kids this is not the right place because of the excessive freedoms which can be abused by students. In hindsight I mostly felt aggravated by the administration when my child was a student here, but I can't deny that it was by far our best option for high school given our circumstances and financial situation.
My child has been attending this school since 2012. He developed skills centered around a business mindset about presentation, oral reports and giving constructive feedback to peers. He developed engineering skills building telegraphs, rocket launchers, coded, lamp circuits etc. he developed artistic skills making movies and presenting it to parents in the community. I appreciate that. On a negative note, the administration does not offer language courses and needed advanced math courses to get into college. They also give parents short notice for a schedule change or activity planned. The teachers seem to manage a class schedule poorly and asks students to come in on weekends, nights to do projects which should have been completed during the school day. I miss traditional format of six different teachers for six classes. Here, one teacher teaches math and science, one teacher teaches English and social studies. One teacher teaches engineering. That's it. They have an advisory or home room teacher. It seems unfair to the teachers and the students how vague the content is and how overworked the teachers are. On a whole, i appreciate the work they went through.
My kids have been on the waiting list for 2 years. It's impossible to get into this school. They say it's a lottery with some computer algorithm. They claim it's to diversify the student population from different zipcodes, ethnicity, etc. Yet if you look at the percentages it's 70% Hispanic...like all of the rest of the schools in the southbay. If it's truly a lottery then it should be only that...not a computer biased program deciding who gets in.
I am SO glad my son got into HTH. This is his second year, and we couldn't be more happy. This school is NOT overcrowded (like other schools in the area) and teachers not only care about the students, they take time for individual help. I have seen my son grow in so many ways; the most notable is the fact that this school gets kids off of their smart phones and texting and makes them engage in current social issues through debate and discussion. This directs them to form their own opinions and encourages problem solving! I can't recommend this school highly enough!!
Let's see, where do I even begin. I absolutely love this school! I am a HTHCV alumni and can genuinely say I miss this school. It is completely different from any regular high school. For one, you develop relationships with your teachers and they actually know you and care about you as oppose to other teachers in regular high schools. HTHCV has a very laid back atmosphere making everyone feel comfortable. The teachers are always friendly and friendly with each other which is not always seen in other high schools or schools for that matter. HTHCV is a project based school which means that we learn by doing. We apply what we have been learning in the classroom to the real world, which I would say is one of HTHCV's main goals. They also focus on making us comfortable and confident around our peers. We do presentations very often that prepare us for the real world. I can say from experience that I have greatly improved with public speaking, once being the shy kid in class being to afraid of speaking up. I can now say that I feel confident speaking with professionals and my peers. Overall, I would say that HTHCV an amazing community that really values it's students.