The Trenton Public Schools district is large and diverse, serving more than 11,000 students. All students have devices and can log in to the learning management system to see dashboards of their lessons, assignments, and projects. The youngest students use cards with QR codes to log in.
At the main high school, students enroll in one of five Small Learning Communities (SLCs) or academies: Medical Arts, Restaurant and Business, Communications, Visual and Performing Arts, and STEM. In the STEM academy, students learn with a variety of professional industry software, such as CAD programs for architecture and carpentry, animation programs for digital and media arts, and diagnostic software to use in automotive-related classes. The school has partnerships with local universities, including Princeton, who provide instructors and other resources. “When you can work with good partners, it’s amazing what’s possible in public education,” says STEM Chairman Scott Munro.
Speaking of partnerships, the high school just won a grant to implement a Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) program. The 6-year P-TECH model combines advanced classes in areas such as engineering and manufacturing with workplace internships so that students can graduate with associate degrees and the academic, technical, and professional skills they need for 21st-century jobs.