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ca distinguished school
Honors some of California's most exemplary and inspiring public schools. Schools selected for the Distinguished School Award demonstrate significant gains in narrowing the achievement gap.


Collaborating together is what sets us apart. Overall, a teacher will present a problem, preferably a current or at least a "real world" problem, to the class. Students will first write down what they believe the teacher is asking them to do in their own words, teachers then check for understanding of what is being asked. Students begin with initial research into the problem, as well as the teacher doing some scaffolding. The class then comes together and works on what they already know about the problem, and what they still need to find out, to come up with a solution. 

Students are put into teams of four and they first have to come up with a charter of understanding among themselves. Each student then goes out and finds more of the information needed and then they come back, share and analyze what they each have found. If more work is needed, they go back and do more.

When the team feels they have all the information they need, they try to come up with a solution or create a product that shows the comparison between two problems, or answer whatever the teacher was asking. This product or answer is then presented to the class and sometimes to the greater community, with a question and answer period for clarity.

Afterwards, students reflect on the process, how the various members of the team collaborated, their performance for the team, etc. We have found that this process of learning helps our students in many ways:  They learn to collaborate with others, they know how to find information, they can communicate with other both verbally and in writing, they learn to persevere in pursuit of an answer, etc. 


  1. We identify struggling math students early using multiple diagnostic measures.
  2. Students who are slightly below grade level are given a math lab in addition to their math class, to provide extra help and support. Students far below grade level are given help in fundamental skills.
  3. Daily after school intervention for students who do not attempt their daily homework.
  4. After school intervention once a week for students doing poorly in core classes.

One of our goals in our LCAP addresses improving growth in academic achievement, especially math. 

Over the last 3 years, due to our programs of intervention and PBL, our overall achievement in classes has improved, especially in our math program.

Our math classes had pass rates in the fall of 2018 which grew from ranges of 50% passing to 96-100% passing, the lowest rates being in the 9th grade year.  Our state testing scores in math have increased from 28% to 54% being proficient and advanced, and our ELA state testing scores consistently stay in the upper 70%’s.  These numbers are far above the state and county levels.

Our Advisory and Year End Defense presentations are not directly in our LCAP, but they are part of the foundation of what makes everything we work on in our LCAP successful.

Advisories provide small groups of students, across grade levels, to get to know each other and to be able to support each other.  Students build solid relationships with at least one teacher over their four years.  Advisories are utilized for making up missed assessments, getting extra help from one or more teachers, an opportunity for teams to get together and collaborate, grade level pull outs for information given by our school counselor, etc. These close knit groups help build a trusting, family like culture found at New Tech.

Year End Defense presentations are assessments of how each student has grown in their 21st Century skills over the school year.  Grades 9 and 10 present in front of their history/English classes and grade 11 and 12 present in front of community members. Students must present evidence of not only what they feel they grew in (Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Communication, etc.), but also provide evidence on how they accomplished this growth.  Students become better at self-reflection, advocacy and articulation of their needs. 

Anderson New Technology High School

Phone: (530) 365-3100

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