Education

Central Coast New Tech High is seeking new students for next school year

Alex Merrick, 16, left, and Colin McInerney, 17, of Central Coast New Tech High School work on installing rubber bands on their DJ Rumba at Softec’s 9th Annual Student Robotics EXPO held at the Madonna Inn Expo Center last September.
Alex Merrick, 16, left, and Colin McInerney, 17, of Central Coast New Tech High School work on installing rubber bands on their DJ Rumba at Softec’s 9th Annual Student Robotics EXPO held at the Madonna Inn Expo Center last September. dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

Enrollment is currently open for Central Coast New Tech High School in Nipomo, and administrators are urging students within the Lucia Mar Unified School District and surrounding districts to apply.

When it launched in August 2012, New Tech had about 100 freshmen students in its inaugural class. Those in the original graduating class were lauded as pioneers in a new project-based learning approach to education that had tech-savvy participants learning real-world applications for coursework.

Today, the student population at New Tech is 305, but that’s still markedly less than the potential capacity of 500 students it was built for, according to a news release.

The school is hoping to add about 125 freshman students for the next school year, as well as more sophomores and upperclassmen.

Principal Christian Holst said students should consider applying for the school if they want a small-school learning environment that prepares them for college.

“A student should attend CCNTH if they want to go to four year school after graduation and want to get a high school education that is relevant, authentic, and focused on creating student centered engagement with the curriculum in a small school learning environment,” he said. “They should attend CCNTH if they would like to graduate with multiple UC/CSU transferable credits and be prepared for 21st century colleges and careers.”

New Tech had a 98.8 percent graduation rate as of 2017, according to the Department of Education’s California School Dashboard. Comparatively, graduation rates at neighboring Lucia Mar schools Arroyo Grande and Nipomo high schools were 96.3 percent and 94.8 percent, respectively (though those schools are significantly larger).

Students at the high school have access to courses in entrepreneurship, graphic design, 3-D design, computer science, game design/programming and engineering, plus a high-tech Mac lab and a “makerspace,” where students can create and build things using different technologies.

The school also offers extracurriculars like a co-school improvisation team with Nipomo High School, a robotics team, mock trial and sports through Arroyo Grande or Nipomo high schools.

To apply, students can go to CCNTH.org and click on “Registration” or use this link: https://www.ccnth.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=696298&type=d&pREC_ID=1131116. They can also stop by the school to pick up a paper application. Priority registration closes March 9; priority will go to those students who apply before 3 p.m. that day. After that, if the school receives more than 125 applications for the freshman class, admission will be decided through a lottery.

Kaytlyn Leslie: 805-781-7928, @kaytyleslie

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