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HFM PTECH model among 25 recognized nationally for innovative practices

October 26, 2017 | Filed in Archive

The Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery Pathways in Technology Early College High School (PTECH) model has been designated as one of 25 national models of Innovative Successful Practices by the American Association of School Administrators and The Successful Practices Network.

The two national organizations will work this fall to write a case study documenting the success of the HFM PTECH model to share with school and district leaders across the country. The case study will highlight the PTECH model’s innovative approach to education and the impact it has had on student learning and achievement.

“Students and educators from the HFM BOCES made a powerful presentation to the Board of Regents at our meeting earlier this month,” said Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa. “It’s very easy to understand why their PTECH model is being hailed as a national model to be emulated by others. These students will graduate with a high school diploma, a no-cost associate’s degree, and the skills and knowledge needed to continue their studies or step seamlessly into a well-paying, high-potential job. But that’s not all – students at HFM’s PTECH program are also inspiring us with their service projects that benefit both the local community and the wider world around them.”

Five students stand around a laptop.

PTECH students work together to make a video as part of a group project. With project-based learning, the students work in small groups on cross-curricular, solutions-based projects. All projects end with a public display of knowledge that is evaluated by teachers and members of the business community.

“The P-TECH model is transformative,” said State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia. “Students in these programs go from thinking they can’t, to knowing they can – they can graduate from a high school program with rigorous academic standards, they can earn a college degree, and they can land a well-paying job. The program is helping students from all backgrounds look forward to what’s possible, instead of focusing on what may have happened in the past. It’s truly a win-win proposition for everyone involved.”

“The data is clear; our PTECH model for high school education works,” HFM BOCES District Superintendent Dr. Patrick Michel said. “Our students have seen tremendous success, and we look forward to sharing our model with other school districts to benefit students both locally and nationwide. I’d like to thank our teachers and administrators, our business partners and mentors, our partners at Fulton-Montgomery Community College and SUNY Cobleskill, our students and parents, the HFM BOCES Board of Education and our component school districts for all their effort in making PTECH a success.”

In 2014, a consortium of HFM BOCES, its component school districts, Fulton-Montgomery Community College, the Fulton-Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce, and business partners collaborated to launch the first PTECH.  In 2016, the consortium partnered with SUNY Cobleskill to launch the Agriculture PTECH.

The HFM PTECH schools embrace a new model for high school education centered on project-based learning and include college-level, credit-bearing coursework in the curriculum and allow students to choose their own “pathways” to high-skills jobs in different career clusters.

Through the programs, selected students from HFM BOCES 15 component districts can earn associate’s degrees at no cost to their families and will be considered for jobs with partnering companies when they graduate.

Now in its fourth year, HFM PTECH is poised to graduate its first class of students in June of 2018. More than 40 percent of those students also are expected to receive their associate’s degree this June.

“Having our model recognized on a national level validates the staff’s hard work and the hours of collaboration, instructional risk-taking and work with our business community,” HFM PTECH Principal Mike Dardaris said, adding that sharing the replicable PTECH model widely is a great opportunity.

The process of identifying innovative practices in schools that have led to increased student achievement is part of a joint initiative of the Successful Practices Network and AASA, with financial support from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Together, they are looking for schools that are preparing students not just for high school graduation, but for postsecondary education, the workplace, and for their roles as citizens.

After the case study is completed, both organizations will decide on the top five schools to be highlighted at two national conferences in 2018.