COVID-19 Information

Dear High Tech High Families,

In a previous email we outlined HTH's plan for implementing distance learning in the event we did not reopen schools on April 7th.  San Diego Unified School District released a press release last night, indicating that they will not be returning on April 6th and will be implementing distance learning for all of their schools through the month of April.  We have officially decided that we follow suit and will not return for in person instruction on April 7th.

When HTH teachers return on April 6th, they will spend that week designing and piloting plans for distance learning.  We will be reaching out for your thoughts and feedback as we do this work.

We will roll out our approach to distance learning the week of April 13th and you will receive detailed information from your child’s teachers about what to expect going forward.  We are asking teachers to plan for their first distance learning module from April 13th - May 8th. Our hope is that by that time, we may be able to return to school, but if that is not the case, we will begin a second module that will run until the end of the year.

Leaders and teachers from across High Tech High have been working to design a framework for distance learning at our schools and create the infrastructure necessary to support that plan.  We’ll continue to engage in this work over spring break using your input regarding your technology access to help us craft an approach tailored to our community’s needs.

If your family currently does not have reliable internet access, please see the options that local internet companies are offering as families try to stay informed.  Getting Internet Access: Available Plans

Thank you for your patience and support. 




Estimadas HTH familias,

En un correo electrónico anterior, describimos el plan de HTH para implementar el aprendizaje a distancia en caso de que no volviéramos a abrir las escuelas el 7 de abril. El Distrito Escolar Unificado de San Diego lanzó un comunicado de prensa anoche, indicando que no regresarán el 6 de abril y que implementarán el aprendizaje a distancia para todas sus escuelas durante el mes de abril. Hemos decidido oficialmente que hacemos lo mismo y no volveremos para recibir instrucción en persona el 7 de abril.

Cuando los maestros de HTH regresan el 6 de abril, pasarán esa semana diseñando y poniendo a prueba planes para el aprendizaje a distancia. Nos pondremos en contacto para solicitar sus pensamientos y comentarios mientras hacemos este trabajo.

Implementaremos nuestro enfoque de la educación a distancia la semana del 13 de abril y su familia recibirá información detallada de los maestros de su hijo/a sobre qué esperar en el futuro. Estamos pidiendo a los maestros que planifiquen su primer módulo de aprendizaje a distancia para el 13 de abril al 8 de mayo. Nuestra esperanza es que para ese momento, podamos regresar a la escuela, pero si ese no es el caso, comenzaremos un segundo módulo que se ejecutará hasta el final del año escolar.

Los líderes y maestros de High Tech High han estado trabajando para diseñar un marco de referencia para el aprendizaje a distancia en nuestras escuelas y crear la infraestructura necesaria para apoyar ese plan. Continuaremos participando en este trabajo durante las vacaciones de primavera, utilizando su aportación con respecto a su acceso a la tecnología para ayudarnos a diseñar un enfoque adaptado a las necesidades de nuestra comunidad.

Si su familia actualmente no tiene acceso confiable a internet, vea las opciones que las compañías locales de internet ofrecen mientras las familias intentan mantenerse informadas. Obtención de acceso a Internet: planes disponibles

Gracias por su paciencia y apoyo.

Please visit our COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) Updates page for all developments. - updated March 24, 2020
Food Service Sites Open During School Closures.

Student Projects

Paper Bag Plays

Author: Deanna Driscoll

Grade: 6th

Subject: Drama

Students working on their lines for play
Student working on lines for play
Deanna working with students on play
Deanna working with students on play
Students working on their lines for play

Students will study the process of developing plot and enhance their understanding of story structure and elements by writing plays in cooperative groups.  Each group will be given a paper bag filled with four unique props, which will provide the impetus for the development of the group’s play.  Students will then perform the plays for their peers, parents, and community members. 

For this project, students will first review and/or learn about elements that comprise stories, with a focus on conflict and resolution. They will be introduced to the driving force behind the project, the Paper Bag filled with random props. They will first work together as a whole class to model how to brainstorm ideas based on the props, and how to use drama mapping to plan their one-act plays.
Students will be assigned to a cooperative group of four students. Students will determine individual roles within their groups; each student will have a technical role, but all will be required to participate in the performance. They will be given a paper bag with the props, and must incorporate the props into their play.  Students will brainstorm ideas and decide which one would make the best one-act play. Groups will then complete the setting, character, conflict, and resolution maps for their play, as well as a plot diagram to determine the sequence of events. They will write a script using the proper format, and rehearse their plays.  They will analyze characters within their plays and will participate in the critique process to revise and improve their plays.  Students will perform plays for their class, and analyze the conflict and resolution in each of the performances.

The most exciting part of this project is watching a group of four or five kids go from opening a paper bag full of random props to staging a full production! It starts out with total chaos and becomes an awesome play, with all aspects controlled by the students. I was struck by the way kids really came together to make the plays work. I especially love seeing that pride in their faces when they perform something all original—written, directed, and acted all on their own. The only challenging part of the project comes from balancing group dynamics, like finding ways to keep everyone on task and settling arguments about script writing. But even that part becomes a learning experience as most groups rise to the occasion, learn to cooperate and compromise, and challenge each other to put on the best performance possible. The best part for me is the sense of pride and accomplishment I share with my students as I watch the performances and see how far they have come as actors by the end of the project.

Final Script of one-act play

The performance!

Students will know:

  • What elements comprise the plot of a story/play
  • The format for writing a script

Students will understand:

  • How to develop well-rounded characters
  • How to develop a well-defined setting
  • How to develop a story plot with sequential events
  • How to use active listening skills within large and small groups
  • How to analyze the conflict and resolution in plays

Students will be able to:

  • Develop a story line based on 4 random props found in their paper bags
  • Create setting character, conflict and resolution maps for their plays
  • Create a plot diagram for their play
  • Take on a definitive role in their cooperative group, either as facilitator, director, casting director, or head playwright
  • Use problem solving strategies within a cooperative group
  • Use the writing process of drafting and revising to develop one-act scripts
  • Write a one-act play with well developed plot, characters, and setting, revealing necessary information to the audience through dialogue, action, and props
  • Critique the writing and performances of peers in order to help with the revision process
  • Publish a final copy of their one-act script using the proper format, including title page
  • Rehearse and perform their one-act plays, including props, for an audience of peers and adults
  • Elements of Story Structure
  • Elements of Playwriting
  • Characterization
  • Staging a Drama Production
  • Paper Bags
  • 4 Props per Paper Bags:  Almost anything will work! Here’s a sampling of ideas.
    • Giant sponge, camera, piece of rope, cup
    • Children’s book, hat, set of goggles, medal
Week #
Project Tasks
·   Introduce project objectives
·   Review story elements
·   Form groups and determine group roles
·   Pass out Paper Bags with props
·   Begin brainstorming ideas for plays
·   Work on plot diagrams
·   Work on character, setting, conflict, resolution mapping
·   Writing Plays
·   Writing and Revising plays
·   Finish final scripts
·   Rehearsal of plays
·   Rehearsal continues
·   Critique of performances
·   Performances
·   Complete Audience Guide
·   Project Reflection


Deanna coaching kids
Deanna working with a group


Kids brainstorming
Kids brainstorm to write the script of their plays.


Deanna meets with groups
Deanna discussing options with one group.


Kids at work on script
Students reviewing their script.

bags 6

Memorizing Lines
A student reads through lines.


Cooperative Group Roles
Description of each role and its responsibilities.

Final Draft Requirements
Student handout detailing requirements for final scripts and performances

Student Project Guidelines
Guidelines to help students understand how to create and perform plays

In-Depth Teacher Reflections
An in-depth teacher reflection, excerpted from the book “Learning by Design: Projects and Practices at High Tech Middle.”

Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans
A sequence of lessons to help teachers plan for the Paper Bag Plays Project.


Rubric for scoring final performances and scripts