If you are a middle-schooler who is hoping for an inclusive high school, where you will get to know the teachers very well and be a part of a lively and diverse student community, please keep d.tech at the top of your school search. If you enroll at d.tech, you will have many opportunities to personalize your high school experience, build your confidence and enjoy being in high school.
We truly believe the world can be a better place, and that you can be the one to make that happen.
We also know that 8th grade is a time of change, when friends may find themselves going to different high-schools. It can be a bit nerve-wracking to head out on your own. Whether you are excited about going to a new high school, or feeling a little unsure, all you need to do in the months ahead is explore the options and opportunities that are available. It’s a great time to enjoy the discovery of new possibilities, and know that wherever you go, there are friends waiting to meet you. The student community at d.tech is made up of individuals with all kinds of interests and we feel very confident that you will find like-minded peers here. At d.tech you can be yourself, whether that means being interested in hip hop and math, or science and social justice, or animal rights and computer science! You will have many opportunities to personalize your high school education, and we feel as excited about that as we hope you are. Here is a short video of the students who graduated last summer.
What does 'DESIGN TECH' mean?
Some people wonder if Design Tech High School is some kind of ‘technology school’ for students with that single interest, and it’s really so much more! Our students include hip hop artists, composers, animal rights activists, affinity groups for cultural heritage: Latinx, Asian, African American and Pacific Islander, acapella singers, jazz musicians, soccer athletes and swimmers, chess/D&D and video gamers, writers, journalists, filmmakers… the list is as endless as students’ interests and ideas.
'DESIGN' - refers to a signature program at d.tech called “Design Lab”. Design Lab - or ‘d.lab’ - teaches you how to be designer and problem-solver using methods developed at the Stanford Design School. The skills you learn in d.lab are important no matter who you are, what your interests are or what kind of personality you have. Through them you will find creative confidence and comfort with people’s needs that don’t always have an obvious solution, and which need your imagination to help solve. Developing this skill will help you now, and throughout your life.
'TECH' - this word tags the idea that all students can be comfortable and confident with technology. It’s just like a set of convenient tools in your personal toolbox. Brand new d.tech students may know either very little, or a lot about technology, and that’s completely normal. Though different projects, you’ll be involved with using technology in different ways. The most basic is to use your personal d.tech chrome book to manage your coursework and create your documents. There are also opportunities to build apps, design wearable technology, study computer science, or join the robotics team - where you may learn to use software to keep the accounts for the sale of robotics swag, change code, or design parts to manufacture in the Design Realization Garage, or ‘DRG’. In the DRG there are sewing machines, 3-D printers, lazar cutters and other manufacturing tools. These can be used by student artists as well as engineers at d.tech. One group of students built a wooden duck house for our resident mallards! We are not sure yet if the mallards like their house, so the prototype may need a little more work.
THE STUDENT COMMUNITY
What unites d.tech students? They share most of these basic values:
A commitment to support their fellow students and school community through trust, care, and empathy.
A drive to have an active role in their education and take responsibility for the direction of their learning. Faculty are always present to encourage, personalize and scaffold your learning.
The curiosity, openness and diligence to become increasingly self-directed over the course of four years.
A willingness to sacrifice some things traditionally associated with high schools - such as homecoming - in order to access unique opportunities.
A desire to make the world a better place.
Your school work is graded on a “competency-based” learning cycle. This means that you will work through ungraded comprehension checks before moving on to graded performance tasks and unit exams. The goal is to reach a level of mastery, defined by the University of California system as a grade of 75% and above. In subjects you find challenging, you may have to attempt more comprehension checks and seek additional help to reach your goal. Your weekly schedule includes daily ‘Focused Independent Time’, and your Thursdays are personalized to allow you to focus on outstanding work, seek teacher support, or engage in electives and activities if you are caught up on your work.
Here are the University of California A-G subject requirements.
PERSONAL ENRICHMENT - Over four years, you can pursue additional opportunities through explorations and design challenges, as well as personal projects, clubs, competitive athletics, internships and concurrent enrollment at local community colleges if you would like to challenge your self as you move into the upper grades. Concurrent enrollment offers free college credits, and a chance to explore new topics. We trust you will graduate from d.tech with many happy experiences that guide you on what you choose to do in the future. Our ‘Beyond d.tech’ counselor will guide you on your unique path.
d.tech is a free public charter high school that values diversity in race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic level, sexual orientation, physical ability, family structure and religion.