DATE: May 22, 2018
CONTACT: Phil Giaramita, Public Affairs and Strategic Communications Officer
Head Teacher Named for Albemarle Tech as New High School Learning Facility Begins Preparing for August Debut
(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia) – Work is well underway to ready Albemarle Tech, the new innovative student Center for Creativity and Invention, for its first class of students this August.
Earlier this month, the use of 40,000 square feet of space at 1180 Seminole Trail, the “old Comdial Building,” was approved by the Albemarle County Planning Commission. That triggered the beginning of the transformation of the leased space into one of the most modern student-centered high school learning facilities in Virginia.
Albemarle County Public Schools took another step forward this week by selecting David Glover to serve as the center’s first Head Teacher. Glover joined the school division in 2009 at Monticello High School.
Among his accomplishments is taking a leading role in the design and development of the school’s Learning Commons, which earned a national award in 2015 from the National School Boards Association. Space that previously was the school’s library was modernized and expanded, becoming a multi-purpose center of student exploration and project creativity. Student visits to the space increased from 400 per year when it was a library to 70,000 per year as the Learning Commons.
At Monticello, Glover also developed the first of the division’s “music construction studios.” He later built an engineering strand into the school’s ninth-grade Language Arts curriculum and led the push to create a digital arts curriculum, including audio and video production and work in both live and scripted television.
“For nearly a decade, David Glover consistently has been on the front edge of student engagement for our schools,” said Ira Socol, the School Division’s Chief Technology and Innovation Officer. “His focus on student needs and aspirations has changed practices, not just for his students, but for students across our division. He is exactly the kind of leader we need for Albemarle Tech.”
Students at the new center will work with teachers to design a personal learning plan and write a contract that details the work they will do to earn academic credit. Most work will be project-based, and students will be able to earn credits in several classes while working on a single project.
Students and advisors will decide how academic grades will be awarded with an emphasis on the process involved in completing a project. Rather than right or wrong test answers, assessments will be based upon the acquisition and development of such skills as creativity, critical thinking and analysis, problem-solving, teamwork, and communication. Student transportation to and from the center will be provided by the school division.
“David brings a special expertise to this first of our high school centers,” said Dr. Matthew Haas, the division’s Deputy Superintendent. “His ability to build interdisciplinary opportunities around student interests represents what our high schools will look like and how they will operate in the future,” he said.
Eventually, Albemarle Tech will serve up to 150 high school students from across the county. In its pilot year, enrollment is restricted to up to 40 seniors. Information on the program and enrollment is available at https://sharepoint-prod3.k12albemarle.org/school/atech/Pages/default.aspx.
Among Glover’s initial priorities will be to work with students to develop their personalized learning plans and to develop teams of mentors who will work with students. The center plans to offer all students an internship opportunity next year.
In addition to serving as the Center for Creation and Invention, the facility also will house the school division’s technology department, formally known as the Department of Learning Engineering, Access, and Design (LEAD), and its Child Nutrition Program.