High Tech High Mesa

High Tech High Glossary


  • Academic Coaches:
    Aides who provide support to students with special needs before, during and after school through our inclusionary model.
  • Ambassadors:
    Students who give tours to our visitors and help with student recruitment events.
  • Community Meeting:
    A meeting where the entire school gathers in the main commons. We will often have guest presenters or performers and will also feature student work and talent during these meetings.
  • ConnectEd:
    The automated phone system we use to send messages to our families about upcoming events.
  • Design Principles:
    These are the distillation of everything we’re about as an organization. Our four design principles are Equity, Personalization, Authentic Work, and Collaborative Design.
  • DPs (Digital Portfolios):
    The term used for teachers’ and student’s websites. Teachers use their DPs to communicate ^vith students and families, and to showcase their past projects. Student DPs are literally “portfolios” of their work throughout their time at High Tech High.
  • Exhibition:
    An evening event in which students, faculty, parents, and visitors come to to see what students have been working on. Each school has at least one school-wide exhibition each year, but teachers are encouraged to end all their projects \vith some sort of exhibition, often off- campus.
  • HOHAM (Habits of Heart and Mind):
    Originally created at Central Park East Secondary Schools (CPESS) in Harlem by Debbie Meier and her faculty. Many of the High Tech campuses have their own variation. We believe the habits of mind cut across all disciplines and connect the various courses and projects that adults and students are working on here.
  • HTH GSE (High Tech High Graduate School of Education):
    The GSE conducts educational research, hosts visitors from around the world who want to learn more about us, and offers a Masters in Education. Teachers are welcome to enroll in HTH GSE programs.”
  • Internship:
    A four-week immersive internship program that all students undertake in nth grade. During internship, a student works at a local organization for at least 30 hours a week, doingwork that they would normally require a college degree in order to be doing.
  • Intersession:
    A special week when teachers offer week-long intensive programs based on their own interests (for example hiking, cooking, music, and astronomy).
  • Naviance/Family Connection:
    The online database that stores college scores and applications for our students. Student, parents and teachers, can all log in. Naviance is basically the place where college applications happen:
    it’s where students make their initial short-lists of schools, and it’s where you’ll upload all your letters of recommendation. It also has some cool college-search and interest-finder tools.
  • Odyssey:
    The new teacher professional development training offered to all new High Tech High teacher.
  • POLs (Presentations of Learning):
    A presentation at the end of each semester in which students present their work to an audience including a panel of experts from the community. POLs are often referred to as “our final exams.”
  • PowerSchool:
    The online system that we use to create and maintain information about students including course schedules, grades, transcripts, assessments. Parents are given a login to access their child’s grades. For your purposes, Powerschool is where you take attendance, enter grades, and look up information about students (including parent contact information).
  • Sixth Period:
    See “X-Block” below
  • SLCs (Student Led Conferences):
    Conferences in which students, teachers and parents meet to discuss the student’s academic performance and goals. At most schools, every student wll take part in an SLC midway through the fall semester.
  • Study Groups (also known as Action Groups, STAGs, Improvement Science Squads…):
    Study Groups are HTH’s version of staff “committee” groups formed to address on going issues, concerns or projects that directly impact the school. Staff can choose which group(s) to belong to based on interest.
  • tPOLs (Transitional POLs):
    A POL done at the end of the year in which students present evidence to their teachers, parents, peers, and community members in order to demonstrate that they are ready to move on to the next grade level.
  • X-Block:
    X-block is an elective course that meets several times a week and allows students to explore their passions and interests. Past X-blocks have included running, yoga, ultimate Frisbee, theater, board games, community service, etc.