• I hear BTA is a part of the New Tech Network. What is the New Tech Network?

    New Tech Network (NTN) works with districts and communities throughout the country to transform schools into innovative learning environments. NTN schools are designed to inspire and engage all students.  Relevant and authentic learning experiences are offered in all subjects.  Students can develop skills essential for both college and career, in addition to mastering academics. NTN is an advocate for comprehensive school change.  

    Explore these links to learn more about the New Tech Network: 

     

    Some core classes are two subjects combined (English and History, for example).  Please tell me about this.

    Combining related subjects allows students to see how the learned content can be applied to the real world.  A work environment requires integrating multiple skills and this will help students prepare for that. The combined classes in BTA last year-long.  Students take any related SOL for a combined class in the spring.

     

    What does Project-Based Learning (PBL) really mean?

    PBL uses inquiry and technology to engage students with issues and problems that relate to their lives. Students become active learners and doers who take responsibility in completing projects.  Their learning goes from guided inquiry to open inquiry, meaning they take on the responsibility of learning the material more in-depth.

     

    Are grades based on individual research (how much research a student provides to his or her team), or do students receive a grade (as a team) based on the final outcome of the project?

    There are individual grades given along the way. Individuals who do not complete the required group assignments can be fired from the group and required to complete the entire project on their own.  At the end of each project the entire group will present, and group and individual grades will be given for presentations. A student's final grade is primarily based on individual growth. 

     

    How are students graded?

    Students are graded based on the New Tech Network learning outcomes of content knowledge and thinking, collaboration skills, agency, oral communication skills, and written communication skills.  There are rubrics that outline each of these learning outcomes.  In addition, each project has its own rubric for how students will be graded.

     

    Are there basic tests given such as a math test or a vocabulary test, or is everything project-based?

    Yes, students will still be assessed as individuals. 

     

    What is the daily schedule like for a 9th grader?

    All students at BHS take four classes a day.  In BTA, a 9th grader typically has one block of integrated courses (English and World History I), and then two blocks of single courses (one of which must be math or Science, which is taught as part of BTA). On average, students are in BTA half a day and in other parts of BHS for the other half a day.

     

    Is there insurance available through Henry County Schools for the laptops that students take home?

    BTA is a 1:1 school, meaning each student receives his or her own MacBook Air to use.  Yes, there is an insurance option available.

     

    Will the BTA students be able to participate in extra-curricular activities and sports?

    Yes, all BHS activities are available for all BHS students, which includes BTA students.  BTA students are able to enroll in other courses such as band or JROTC.  BTA students are also eligible to enroll in PHCC degree programs, ACE, or Governor's School if they meet the requirements established by those programs.

     

     Are graduation requirements different for BTA students?

    No.  All Henry County Public Schools students have the same graduation requirements and take the same Virginia Standards of Learning assessments.

     

    What if my child changes his/her mind?

    Students are required to stay with the program for the academic year.  They can choose to leave the program after the year has ended.  For example, a student who commits to BTA, will remain with BTA for 9th grade, but can choose not to participate in 10th grade.

     

    Can parents still monitor their child’s progress online for BTA?

    Student progress can be monitored for BTA courses through Echo, our online learning management system.  Echo is used for everything related to a course.  Students and parents can access daily agendas, project briefcases, resources, and grades.  For courses that are not a part of BTA, parents will still need to use “Parent Portal” as in the past.