According to principal Mike McCollor, the mission at Washington Technology Magnet School is “ to help kids get smarter.” With a collective vision of students engaged in learning, preparing them for a changing world, Washington is a comprehensive magnet secondary school with a science, mathematics and technology focus that serves 2100 students in grades 6 through 12. Ninety percent are students of color, 59% are limited English proficient, and 93% receive free or reduced lunch.
As a School of Opportunity, Washington Technology features innovative curriculum choices and student grouping practices designed to address the diverse needs of the school’s population. Students learn in interdisciplinary teams in specially designed “house” areas of the school. Washington is also a BioSMART school, which stands for Biological Science, Math, Academic Rigor and Technology. Students at Washington select one of two BioSMART pathways offering specialized courses in biomedical science or engineering with additional opportunities in Computer Programming.
In order to teach the curriculum effectively to all students, teachers at Washington work collaboratively in many ways: through Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) in their content areas, through Interdisciplinary Teams (IDTs) to meet individual student needs, and through co-teaching in both special education and English Language Learning to provide students support in accessing the mainstream curriculum.
In addition to an innovative curriculum with strong teacher support, Washington is committed to supplementing and extending students’ options and experiences. All 2100 students at Washington participate in the the Extended Day program every day of the school year featuring over 100 classes in academic support, enrichment, and athletic opportunities.
Washington’s efforts prove that a broad, creatively designed curriculum with academic supports and enrichment opportunities can yield impressive results for students from a range of backgrounds and ethnicities. Washington students earned over 1300 college credits while in high school. For the 2015-16 academic year, 99% of the seniors graduated, and 100% of the seniors were accepted to at least one post-secondary school.