High Tech High, a network of public charter schools, serves nearly 5,300 K-12 students, 50 percent of whom qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. The student body is comprised of 43 percent Latino students, 28 percent white, 9 percent African-American, 7 percent Filipino, 7 percent Asian, 4 percent Native American, and 2 percent Pacific Islander. Fifteen percent of students qualify for an individualized education program and 24 percent are English language learners. Its 13 schools are located in three cities in San Diego County: Chula Vista, San Diego, and San Marcos. The organization also operates a Graduate School of Education and leads networked improvement communities that include schools and districts from other localities and states.
High Tech High is working to establish improvement at the center of the organization’s culture by analyzing bright spots of success, co-constructing goals to address school needs, designing and adapting protocols to scaffold the use of improvement tools, and establishing structures for school-level improvement. Through continuous improvement, High Tech High reduced low-income students’ chronic absenteeism rates from 11.4 percent to 5 percent.