In just a matter of weeks Lincoln students will kick off the year in a new 115,000-square-foot, 'new-tech' high school.
Technology enhancements are top priority at the new facility on Highway 62. The school has Wi-Fi and every student and teacher will receive a Mac Book Air.
“They need to be learning how to do their job or preparing for life and the technology needs to enhance that and not be a barrier for them,” said Clay Hendrix, superintendent. “When they go to college or a trade school and the last thing they need to be doing is learning how to use the technology and how to become comfortable with the technology.”
But changes are not just for the high school students.
“Then there's a grade reconfiguration," Hendrix said. "Fifth grade is moving from elementary to middle school and then eighth grade is moving from middle school to high school, so there’s been a lot of moving."
Middle school students will move into the old high school building.
Also new this year is a different approach to teaching where students will work in teams.
“They‘re building 21st century skills, I think we are better preparing our students with this model to be successful in the real world and that’s what we want," said Mary Ann Spears, Lincoln High School principal. "There’s no more 'sit and get' at Lincoln High School. You typically went to a class, you lectured, you took notes, the teacher did a PowerPoint, and we’re not having any of that.”
Teachers are also teaming up to tackle subjects in combined classrooms.
“Where two classrooms are together and where two teachers are working," Spears said. "We have a World Studies class which is 10th grade World History and 10th grade English integrated together. Students will get credit for both classes for World Studies and English. They'll be in the class for two hours with two teachers doing projects that cover both standards.”
Along with learning current technology and getting a sense of a "real world" atmosphere, students will also be allowed to give their input on the school handbook, rules, improvements, and changes.
“It’s their school, it’s their space, they’re spending a lot of time there and we want them to own it, have good ownership and be proud of their school,” says Spears.
An open house event will be held at the high school Thursday, Aug. 16. A grand opening ceremony will begin at 7 p.m.