Design Thinking - This is the name of the collaborative solution-finding strategy pioneered at the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University. It is a process and skill that students develop to address challenges across many fields of endeavor, from social issues, to the pragmatics of everyday life for themselves and others.  At its core is deep empathy for others. Design Tech High School's considers teaching this skill for four years a priority. It gives students experience in interviewing others, listening deeply, making creative connections both in and outside of their team, and welcoming critical feedback as actionable information. Through this process, they recognize themselves as agents of positive change in our world.

Intersessions - Four two-week periods during the school year when students engage in a deep-dive design-thinking challenge, followed by electives or mandatory courses in the afternoon. This a signature program. Intersessions are taught by professionals ranging - for example - from dance and ceramics instruction for UC Visual and Performing Arts credits, to coding with Oracle engineers and cooking with the AT&T Park chef. Photography, robotics, college prep. publishing and journalism are among many other offerings. Students suggest five choices and may or may not get their first choice given their choices are balanced with mandatory health and wellness classes. Intersession classes occur on or off-campus, and parents are instrumental in helping with transportation. During the Intersession period, faculty engage in professional development. 

For further insights see Intersession Home.