Most importantly, they share a common appreciation of what partnership means. “This school is a hybrid between the district and MCC,” says Smith. So he focused on finding common ground with Rotenberg. “This is a person I have to work with for seven years! So let’s throw everything on the table, and hash it out. We have to feel free and open and ultimately make the best education decisions possible.”
For Rotenberg, making the best education decision possible has meant a clear focus on the students, “I want the kids and the teachers to be the focus of the program. Rotenberg continues, referring to his work with Smith, “We work together for the betterment of our school.”
In that spirit, Rotenberg and Smith connected early in the school development process and developed an implementation plan. They began meeting informally, interviewing one another and sharing their different skill sets, and deciding how they could support each other. Next, they began to map out the work that needed to be accomplished. This included developing the Scope & Sequence and the Summer Bridge program, and laying out the internal processes that needed to take place to launch the P-TECH 9-14 school.
Throughout, their work has been supported by a larger Steering Committee made up of key leaders from both the district and MCC, who are tasked with providing guidance and advice and doing the strategic work necessary to ensure the school’s success.
“We have an action plan and top priorities for each day, week and month,” says Rotenberg. “We talk every couple of days to move forward. I joke that I talk to Anthony more than my wife!”
For more information about the P-TECH 9-14 model, please visit The Model.
P-TECH Rochester students in class.