North County Trade Tech High School was established four years ago and is proud to be graduating it's first class this spring. The school's charter listed PBL as a means to interest "reluctant learners". They seem to be finding success in this by using trades, particularly construction, and PTLW engineering courses to motivate student. The school population is largely male Latino. Plans to include culinary arts may attract a more diverse population. There are virtually no entry restrictions and the school is very reluctant to expel anyone. They are working with some of the toughest cases in the San Diego area. The school has an articulation agreement with trade schools and students potentially could became trade journeyman with a full complement of tools and no debt. North County is dependent on contributions for area businesses and has skilled volunteers helping students. The campus consists of two light industrial buildings and uses student designed partitions that double as white boards. A current cross-curricular project is studying and designing wind turbines. Students have shown very impressive gains on state testing and graduation rates. The principal was very frank about the resistance that we can expect to meet. These changes are always a work in progress, and we are not likely to be successful right away.
A fully functional "house built by NCTT students
Classroom at NCTT