MISSION & PHILOSOPHY
Legacy Tech’s mission is to prepare Silicon Valley high school students to excel at four-year colleges and universities, then return to their communities, ready to embark on successful careers and make meaningful contributions in the area’s competitive, high-tech environment.
As a public charter school, Legacy Tech will be open to all Santa Clara County students in grades 9 through 12. The school is especially committed to serving students in academically disadvantaged parts of the county so that they can obtain rewarding jobs in their own area.
To fulfill its mission, Legacy Tech will feature:
- A STEAM-based academic curriculum
- Collaboration with area tech firms and others in the community
- Integrated, hands-on learning
- Family engagement
Legacy Tech’s program will be powered by STEAM, an acronym for science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics. Legacy Tech believes that knowledge and ability in these core disciplines are required to compete in today’s high-tech society, both in Silicon Valley and around the globe.
Programs similar to Legacy Tech’s have often been called “STEM,” but many are now using the term “STEAM,” with the “A” standing for “art.” Legacy Tech’s STEAM curriculum will place considerable emphasis on a broad spectrum of the arts – including literature, languages, history, social studies, physical arts, fine arts and music.
Legacy Tech believes that education in the arts is essential for an individual to become a well-rounded and participating member of society. The arts bring passion and inspiration to learning. They also drive innovation. Many tech leaders say that employees trained in the arts bring creativity, a flair for design and critical thinking skills and to their companies.
In addition to being known for its high-quality STEAM curriculum, Legacy Tech will be a shining example of a successful public-private partnership in education. The school will partner with Silicon Valley corporations, institutions of higher learning and community members to offer a unique and exciting curriculum.
Legacy Tech will collaborate closely with industry leaders from some of the world’s largest tech companies. Corporate representatives will mentor students, and students will have opportunities to work at company sites. This relevant, real-world education will prepare students to succeed in higher learning and in life.
One of Legacy Tech’s goals is to produce knowledgeable and involved citizens. Through its collaborative program, students will come to understand their connection to the community and their responsibilities as members of it.
Integrated, Hands-On Learning
The STEAM approach shows students that all areas of study are related to each other, as well as to the real world. Unlike students in most traditional high schools, Legacy Tech students will learn to bring together knowledge and skills from all five of the STEAM disciplines. Walls between subjects will be broken down. Students may study technology through the lens of art. Engineering and math classes may overlap, and science and history lessons may merge.
Learning will be hands-on and reality-based. Students will work on projects for extended periods of time, searching for answers to questions and solutions to problems. Often they will work in teams, learning how to communicate and collaborate with others.
Legacy Tech will value the learning process as much as the results. Instead of focusing on standardized test scores, rote memorization and grades, it will dare students to try new ideas, consider different opinions, and even go down the wrong path sometimes.
This approach is a paradigm shift from the traditional one, but Legacy Tech believes it builds curiosity, creativity and confidence. Students will learn how to think for themselves, listen to others and take risks. They will develop persistence, spontaneity and self-motivation.
Legacy Tech believes that young people learn to value learning when their family members make education a priority in their home. Parents and guardians will work side by side with their children to help produce success.
Legacy Tech parents will be expected to ensure that their students attend school daily, arriving on time and prepared to learn; complete homework assignments and hand them in on time; follow school rules; and show respect to teachers, staff, parent volunteers and fellow students.
Parents will be encouraged to personally communicate concerns and questions to the school, and to attend school events. They will also participate in the school in a variety of ways, enriching the learning experiences of all the students. Legacy Tech plans to form a Parent Advisory Group in the near future.
A Charter School
Legacy Tech will be a public charter school. Charter schools are known as “schools of choice.” They must be tuition free and serve all student populations, and may not discriminate against any student on the basis of ethnicity, national origin, gender or disability.
Legacy Tech will have a diverse student body that mirrors the ethnic and socioeconomic diversity of the local community. It will also have a diverse leadership team, faculty and staff so students will see themselves reflected in all levels of the organization.
As a charter school, Legacy Tech will be free to be more flexible and innovative than traditional schools. Staff and faculty will experience less bureaucracy and more autonomy. Teachers will have more freedom to design classes to meet their students’ needs, as well as to customize learning experiences for individual students. Students themselves will be free to make choices, thus taking an active role in their own education.
An Open School
Legacy Tech has pledged to develop and share innovative best practices with the entire Santa Clara County public school community. The school will maintain an open-door, collaborative policy with area educators at all times. And it will be fully embedded in the community, with a governing board made up of civic and community leaders and educators.
The unique value proposition of Legacy Tech can be found in its name. “Legacy” refers to the enormous and positive impact the school will have on its students and the community through the coming years. “Tech” stands for Silicon Valley’s most important contribution to the country and the world.