Patrick F. Taylor Science & Technology Regional Academy
Jefferson Parish and New Orleans Region, Louisiana
Cable System: Cox Communications
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"Engage students with real world projects and applications. Give them the freedom and choice in how they demonstrate their knowledge by letting the students lead the way with the technology. Do not force them to "power down" when they come to school, instead teach them the way they learn best by using 21st Century tools. Teach students to work collaboratively, convey their thoughts in writing using websites, blogs and other Web 2.0 tools, and have them present their work to members of the community."
Believing students, especially those from high-poverty families, need more than just participative learning opportunities, Kristy Philippi helped found the STEM-focused (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Patrick F. Taylor Science & Technology Regional Academy in 2004 with the hope to provide students with 21st Century skills as well as college and workforce preparation. She invited career professionals, parents and community members to participate in the academy and be available to the students by creating plans that engage and encourage students to achieve daily success.
Since its inception, Taylor Academy, a public magnet school for grades 6-12, has grown into an important part of the Jefferson Parish community. Philippi has led implementations of one-to-one mobile computing; total project-based learning curricula and 21st Century skills criteria (content, critical thinking, collaboration, effective communication, tech literacy). As one of nine New Technology Foundation (NTF) schools in 2004, Taylor Academy has become a model of success, and there are now more than 40 New Tech Schools in nine states.
Philippi empowers teachers to challenge traditional expectations and rules to push education with projects that improve the community. Taylor Academy staff engages the student body using content from traditional and online media sources including wikis, podcasts and blogs. Taylor has a strong relationship with Cox Communications and benefits from them providing educational programming, professional development opportunities, advertising and connections with local businesses.
Taylor Academy was the recipient of NTF School of Excellence Award in 2007 and Philippi was honored with local, regional and state awards for leadership in innovative education practices in 2006, 2007 and 2008.