Teachers sharpen skills for new high school
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Aug 08, 2014 | 3459 views | 1 1 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Mountain House High School Principal Ben Fobert talks to special needs teacher Angela Calabro (center) during a teacher professional development session on Friday  in the school cafeteria. The training was held over two weeks to prepare the school's new staff for the first day of classes on Aug. 20. Denise Ellen Rizzo/Tracy Press
Mountain House High School Principal Ben Fobert talks to special needs teacher Angela Calabro (center) during a teacher professional development session on Friday in the school cafeteria. The training was held over two weeks to prepare the school's new staff for the first day of classes on Aug. 20. Denise Ellen Rizzo/Tracy Press
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Mountain House High School teachers gathered in the school’s cafeteria on Friday  for a professional development session. The session was to prepare the school’s staff for the first day of classes on Aug. 20. Denise Ellen Rizzo/Tracy Press
Mountain House High School teachers gathered in the school’s cafeteria on Friday for a professional development session. The session was to prepare the school’s staff for the first day of classes on Aug. 20. Denise Ellen Rizzo/Tracy Press
slideshow
Math and engineering teacher Steve Geuss (far right) shows fellow teachers Jason McCloskey and Garrett Beal a computer program on a laptop during a teacher professional development session at Mountain House High School on Friday . Denise Ellen Rizzo/Tracy Press
Math and engineering teacher Steve Geuss (far right) shows fellow teachers Jason McCloskey and Garrett Beal a computer program on a laptop during a teacher professional development session at Mountain House High School on Friday . Denise Ellen Rizzo/Tracy Press
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MOUNTAIN HOUSE — Before making their debut, the members of the first teaching staff of Mountain House High School are spending two weeks this summer in professional development to get prepared for opening day on Aug. 20.

During one of their teamwork sessions on Friday, teachers expressed their eagerness to work with the new school’s technology-based teaching methods.

“It’s really exciting to see a school follow up on technology learning and not just talk, but follow through,” resource teacher Diana Angelo said.

Culinary arts teacher Margaret Drummond said that several of the teachers had come from schools where technology had been phased in, and what made Mountain House High different was that the technology was integrated into the school’s educational fabric as it was built. She called the campus inviting and not intimidating and said students would likely feel at home.

Working in groups based on their teaching departments, 25 of the school’s 28 teachers went over various online programs on their school-issued laptops Friday in the cafeteria at 1090 S. Central Parkway.

Principal Ben Fobert said his teachers hit the ground running because of an online orientation before the professional development sessions.

“They walked in and knew what to expect,” Fobert said. “It’s a very different school environment than anywhere else. We’re focused on a healthy disregard for the impossible. Technology is not a thing we’re teaching, it’s a tool we’re using. It’s a way to deliver content to students. Teachers will become true instructors (rather) than deliverers of content.”

Students must prove they can master a task, the principal said, and in the technology-based process, they will be able to prove their mastery through videos. For example, a shy student who doesn’t want to play basketball in front of the physical education class could instead submit to the teacher a video of himself or herself correctly doing a basketball layup.

“It’s really exciting,” Fobert said. “I wish I was in high school. The entire school on this philosophy will benefit the students’ learning and understanding.”

“The staff is all positive with a lot of energy,” special-education teacher Angela Calabro said. “If we’re excited, (students) are going to be excited.”

Mountain House High School is the first high school in the Mountain House community and the first in Lammersville Unified School District. It will welcome 552 freshmen and sophomores on Aug. 20.

• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at drizzo@tracypress.com or 830-4225.

 
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Macpup
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August 08, 2014
Really - a laptop will now make the teacher's instructors? No, what the technology will do is remove the teacher from the classroom. Student's will get their instruction via laptop... no teacher necessary. The government will give them the necessary information via Common Core. Anyone ever read 1984 by Orwell? A lot of savings will be made to pay for the laptops by eliminating the "pricey" teacher.


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