HTHMA is located in a High Tech High village with other schools. Each school in the village is fully autonomous. Students take all courses at their assigned school. Teachers across the school collaborate informally.
HTHMA is divided into grade-level teams, which are split in half to form classes of approximately 25 each. The school has a full-inclusion model for SPED with inclusion support coaches working in classrooms and offering after-school support.
Odyssey is a six- or seven-day experience for new teachers who are led through an accelerated version of a project (project slice) prior to the return of the existing staff. Odyssey provides an opportunity for school leaders to model the inclusive practices that they would like to see in classrooms on a daily basis and also the elements of good project design. After the project slice, new teachers get to design their own projects, and they get workshops from veteran teachers on how to launch a project and how to help kids learn how to do effective critique. These are the elements that school leadership sees as essential in the daily classroom and in a project-based learning setting.
Teacher Collaboration and Relationship Building
Influenced by Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization by Dave Logan, building personal connections among teachers and leaders is seen as crucial for "making the magic happen." As part of the eight PD days that teachers have (in addition to Odyssey), teachers engage in a staff retreat, which focuses on relationship building. Also, the staff meets twice per week for PD and many teams share prep periods.
School PD days
The staff members typically meet through the morning and have the afternoons free for classroom work. Examples include walking neighborhoods to look for project inspiration and audience, visiting other schools, visiting museums to study ways of exhibiting student work, mapping projects for the next school year and getting them critiqued by students, planning dream projects, etc.
Teacher Credentialing Program
The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing has approved High Tech High to certify teachers in the single-subject content areas of mathematics, science, English, history/social studies, Spanish, Mandarin, and art; multiple subject and special education through its Teacher Intern Program. The goal of the program is to prepare teachers to work in an environment that integrates technical and academic education while creating a sense of community engagement and responsibility. The HTH District Intern program situates teacher training in HTH sites where candidates can experience a 21st-century context for teaching and learning. The program provides direct, on-the-job training to recent graduates of post-secondary institutions, as well as to mid-career individuals in transition.
The HTH District Intern Program is accredited by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and provides the equivalent of a 120-hour pre-service program and 600 hours of training and practice over two academic years. Interns earn full-time salaries and benefits as teachers in charter school classrooms while working toward their credentials.