11/25/13 The Plymouth Community School Corporation proudly showed off their four new Project Based Learning schools with open houses on Sunday.
The community was invited to tour the four New Tech Schools; the Innovation Academies at Riverside and Lincoln, the ITAMCO Manufacturing Education and School Service Center and Weidner School of Inquiry at Plymouth High School.
Audie Plothow and Dylan Voreis, students at the Innovation Academy at Riverside proudly cut the red ribbon officially opening the PBL 5th and 6th grade school. Principal Jeni Hirschy said the school bridges the learning between the Washington Discovery and the Innovation Academy at Lincoln Junior High. The academies are one of the first extensions ever licensed by New Tech Technologies. There are 8 facilitators at Riverside and 200 learners, 100 in 5th grade and 100 in 6th grade. The school is centrally located in the former library area and surrounding class rooms and in the science lab which is now the flex space.
The former library at Lincoln has had major renovations and now serves 200 students in grades 7th and 8th as the Innovation Academy at Lincoln. Learners, Rachel Bockman and Maggie Nate cut the ribbon for the project based learning school. There are two double classrooms, single classrooms and flexible learning spaces. Principal Reid Gault said there are 100 learners in each grade level who are learning live long skills by reading, writing and communication.” He continued, “It’s a different mindset that challenges out learners with growth and facilitation.”
At 3:15 on Sunday afternoon the ITAMCO Manufacturing Education Center was officially launched with a ribbon cutting by CNC student Austin Bottorff and PHS Student Council President Ellyn Smith. Principal Jim Condon said the vocational program offers precision machining to students who receive dual credit from PHS and Ivy Tech. The program is preparing students for post high school workforce and or continued vocational training. A special thank goes to ITAMCO for the $100,000 donation of machinery and to Jerome Palmitessa, Culver Tool, Sullair and Cosen Saws for their donations to the CNC program at PHS. Currently there are 12 juniors and or seniors enrolled from Plymouth, Culver and John Glenn Schools.
The final ribbon cutting of the day was for the Weidner School of Inquiry at PHS. Students Haley Mills and Curtiss Smith cut the ribbon celebrating the opening of the PBL school. Mr. & Mrs. Dan Weidner donated $100,000 to the school within a school. The New Tech High School is 22,000 plus square of repurposed space that contains six double classrooms, three single classrooms, three meeting rooms, lots of flexible learning spaces, two offices and a conference room. Three news single classrooms and an additional flex space is open. Nearly $650,000 has been donated from community businesses, industries, individuals, and foundations.
Presently the school is housed by a freshman and sophomore class. After four years, there will be four classes, freshman through senior. Students attend the majority of their classes in the WSOI but do passport out to take electives in PHS.
The curriculum in Project Based Learning in grades K though 12 meets the Indiana graduation requirements, state testing requirements, and Indiana State Standards.