When Elaine Blasi retired as Head of School at Hale O Keiki Montessori School in June 2010, she wasn’t exactly sure what she was going to do next. As founder of the Kihei Montessori School and administrator there for 10 years, she felt it was time to move on. Her background in education compelled her to continue blazing trails in Maui’s world of education, and now, two years later, she’s opened the Global Technology High School.
Located at 2050 Main St. in Wailuku, it’s focused on preparing students for 21st century careers through Tony Wagner’s “Schools of the Future” philosophy and the Montessori secondary curriculum. Blasi said she consulted with Wagner and many other educators to develop the school’s curriculum. Frank Rocha is the athletic director, dean of students, and teaches health and electives. U‘i Naho‘olewa will teach art, digital media, Hawaiian Studies/Hawaiian Language and electives. Math, science and Spanish teachers are still pending.
“Before beginning the curriculum development process, we met with business leaders on Maui to ask their opinions about the Global Tech proposal,” says Blasi. “We wanted to know the answers to two specific questions. First, did the business leaders see a need for an alternative high school program? Second, would those leaders be willing to host a senior intern at their place of business: a year-long, contracted intern who would spend one full work day (or two half days) per week for 36 weeks (a full school year); an intern who would be mentored and evaluated by an employee at their company; an intern would be meaningfully engaged (not running for coffee or copying papers)? The answers were unequivocally yes and yes.”
At Global Technology High School, technology education will be integrated across the curriculum. Students are introduced to the newest technologies and use them to access and analyze information, create multimedia portfolios, problem-solve and become proficient in 21st century skills. Each student is provided with a MacBook Pro and the school is equipped with the latest computers and audio visual systems.
“Teacher lecture time is limited to 20 minutes in two-hour periods for subjects,” says Blasi. “The rest of the time the teacher works directly with individuals or groups. The exception is math: that is 45 minutes daily.”
Internships are a cornerstone of the schools methodology for career education. The school plans to forge alliances with the local businesses community to foster apprenticeships and internships where students can access real world experience.
“The seniors will stay in the internship of their choice for a full school year guided to those choices by the ‘self-construction’ strand of courses that they will have taken in their freshman, sophomore and junior years,” says Blasi. “These include their intersession courses, their communication/digital media courses and the theories of knowledge course.”
Global Tech plans to enroll up to 100 students. Right now, they’re enrolling freshmen and sophomores for the 2012-2013 academic year. Global Technology High School offers individual site tours and opportunities to meet the staff.
Families are encouraged to visit the school’s website www.globaltechmaui.org for more information about the school and its programs. Call 808-280-4906 or email Elaine@globaltechmaui.org for appointments and interviews.