The former New Tech High School opened Wednesday with a new name and a new approach to instruction.
Now called the Academy of Science and Entrepreneurship, the public school began its new school year on Wednesday.
About 120 students gathered on the campus lawn before the school day to witness a ribbon cutting ceremony to dedicate the new site. The school moved locations to a building on South Patterson Drive in Bloomington this year.
ASE hosted the ceremony to highlight its recent name change and the transformation of its study program, including additions to its science- and business-focused curriculum.
The school is officially starting its sixth year. Current students now have the option of picking one of four career pathways during their junior or senior year.
Partnerships with Ivy Tech Community College and Indiana University-Bloomington let students earn up to 30 credit hours with dual-enrollment offerings in science, technology and business-related fields.
“It’s that idea of an equal emphasis on preparation for career, college, really preparation for life,” says Principal Dr. Bruce Colston.
“We’ve added those elements to strengthen what was already the core program at New Tech.”
Two years ago New Tech was the lowest performing school in Monroe County. Colston says he is hopeful the additional layers of curriculum will help prepare students for wherever they go next.
“Every year we’re going to be looking at benchmarks, at ‘are they getting ready for college? Are we getting them ready at the freshman level with what they need, building through the senior year?'” Colston says.
“And then when they leave us, doing follow-up to see how they’re doing in the world of work, or how they’re doing in college,” he adds.
Junior Morgan Huntington says she is excited about new additions to the school’s existing method of project-based teaching.
“You’re not just sitting in a class just listening to a teacher just talk at you,” Huntington says.
“’I think sometimes at school it’s like, why am I learning this? Why do I bother doing this packet and taking this test? But . . . I feel like here, you really have a chance to be a part of your learning.”
Senior Gabriel Jones agreed, adding that the school’s new additions are just another step in its constant evolution.
“I can tell this is going to be another great year, and New Tech – or the Academy of Science and Entrepreneurship – improves every single year in its existence, and it’s just going to keep getting better,” he says.
Students had to fill out an application for admission to the school. This year’s freshman class totals 17 students.