Introducing the Fuse Architect Schools – Newport Area Career and Technical Center

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Led by Director Rob Young, the Newport Area Career and Technical Center’s (NACTC) program has pockets of student centered learning embedded throughout the school; however, the Fuse Architect design team, would like to expand these pockets to develop a more robust student-centered and blended learning approach. While this may seem like just a simple shift in the approach to teaching and learning, the team understands that being truly student-centered will involve changing the structure, programs, and supports that organize the school.

Newport Demographics

# of students % of Free and Reduced Lunch % of English as a Second Language % of Special Education Services
590 61% 7% 18%

Last year NACTC launched the P-TECH, Pathways in Technology to Early College High School. It is the state’s first and only cybersecurity P-TECH model school and will serve students in grades 9-14. The intent of P-TECH is to combine high school, college, and the professional world. Partners include the Community College of Rhode Island and the Southeastern New England Defense Industry Alliance. Graduates from the P-TECH program will obtain a high school diploma, associate degree, and internship opportunities. Personalized learning will be embedded in the program and students will participate in project-based learning activities, workplace visits, and tackle skills-based, real-world projects through internships and apprenticeships.

The Fuse Architect team is charged with helping to redesign the P-TECH program for its second year implementation to ensure that it is student-centered and includes student voice. Shifting to a model that prioritizes student voice and student-centered learning has been an encouraging start for the district. Yet, the Rogers team believes they are only at the beginning stages of working towards a more student-centered program. As a Fuse Architect team, they will move this thinking forward through projects like the P-TECH program.

At the end of Phase 1 the Fuse Architect team wants to make the best use of its Learning Management System–Summit Learning by gradually releasing students to take more ownership over their work. Additionally the teachers are all working with Educational Strategies Specialists from the Highlander Institute to further their proficiency with blended learning models. Most importantly the team has committed themselves to building outlets for student voice and setting aside time and resources to meet their interests. Additionally, areas such as behavioral norms, 21st century skills, and other social emotional-related areas would be interesting for them to tackle into the next year.

To learn more about the Fuse Architect project, updates, and partnerships, see all blogs in this series!

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The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute (MVLRI) is a non-biased organization that exists to expand Michigan’s ability to support new learning models, engage in active research to inform new policies in online and blended learning, and strengthen the state’s infrastructures for sharing best practices. MVLRI works with all online learning environments to develop the best practices for the industry as a whole.

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