Bulldog Tech is the result of a lot of people having the vision to create a new school model that leads to a deeper learning experience. I have been fortunate enough to get the opportunity to help that vision evolve at our school. Educators go into this profession with the hopes and dreams of changing the world through their students. But too often, educators are limited by conflicting policies in education that do little to allow learning to thrive or teaching to be inspired. We have been allowed, at Bulldog Tech, to follow a proven model for learning that re-kindles our zeal that existed when we were first learning to become teachers.
Today's students need to be armed with more than just content knowledge, they need skills mindsets for learning that they can carry with them beyond graduation. Our collaborative learning approach, with staff and students, has allowed us to "unleash our passions" for teaching and learning. We support each other through constant cycles of improvement. And even though we've been established for many years, we feel like we continue to re-imagine that vision each year. Every year for me is even more exciting than the previous year because I get to see our school reach more students. I get to see those students leave Bulldog Tech prepared and passionate.
Bulldog Tech is a school within LeyVa Middle School. Our model puts students in the center of their learning. Traditionally, we see students as passive recipients of content in school settings. While this practice may temporarily help to take an annual exam, this type of learning does little to foster the skills or determination needed to make an impact in the world later in life. We believe that in order for students to develop life-long learning, a Constructivist approach, which includes collaboration, critical thinking, social contexts, and real-life experiences, is essential. Combine this approach with rigorous and meaningful situations, guided by our state standards, and it results in learning that lasts longer and goes deeper. Students feel like what they are learning makes sense and they can explain why their learning makes sense.
We know that our students are only with us for two years at Bulldog Tech. And we also know that developmentally, these two years are the most important years in shaping skills and mindsets that will carry on for the rest of their lives. At twelve and thirteen years old, before they head off to high school, our goal is to instill a growth mindset (Agency) in our students that sets them on the path to finding their passion for learning.
Our research-based methods for this learning is developed through a partnership with the New Tech Network. Our students will receive curriculum using the following approach:
- Project-based Learning and Problem-based Learning curriculum are used in all our classes
- Our curriculum subjects are integrated and not segregated just as it is in real life
- Our classrooms are led by two New Tech Network trained teachers
- We employ low student to teacher ratios - 25:1
- Our assessment of students reflects School-Wide Learning Outcomes that correlate to deeper learning competencies
- Students use technology in a 1:1 ratio just like they do in college and most jobs
- We develop community partnerships for student's projects
- We nurture a professional culture of trust, respect, and responsibility between and among our students, staff, families and community
- We are constantly reflecting on and improving our model through a collaborative leadership process
- Students learn kind, specific and helpful ways to improve and critique work
- Throughout the two years, students develop and articulate their goals for learning with their teachers, families and peers
A brief description...
Founded 2012, Bulldog Tech is the first New Tech Network School in Silicon Valley. New Tech Network partners with us to ensure the success of our learning model that develops students who are college and career-ready. This proven curriculum is now being used successfully by over 200 schools in America and Australia.
Bulldog Tech is a public middle school with 300 seventh and eighth graders. We are also a school within a school and we are housed on the far east side of the LeyVa Middle School campus. We partner with LeyVa to share some resources, but are otherwise an independent school. We start and end the same time as LeyVa , but during the day our classes and schedule are different in order to put into practice our unique curriculum, culture and school model. Students on both campuses share the same sports program and some campus-wide activities.
All of our core content classes and integrated electives are accomplished in three large instructional blocks during the first part of the student's day. Our blocks are 74 minutes long and this allows our students to efficiently work with as much time as possible. Since we have a small, intimate campus, almost no time is wasted walking from class to class as it is every 50 minutes in many larger schools. In fact, we have no need for bells at our school, which helps the students to develop college-like habits of going to class when it's time to go, not when they are told to go. After lunch, students attend an advisory class called "Connections" and PE. Connections class enables us to develop those skills that would not otherwise be taught. In Connections, students will get the opportunity to work with their personal academic advisor, take workshops and other electives on various topics, and present their academic progress to staff, peers, and family. Connections class boosts student learning and skills by connecting what students learn to what students do in real-life. You can read more about these benefits on our Academics page.
You can learn more about Bulldog Tech by browsing our website and the New Tech Network website.