A recently announced partnership will provide new learning opportunities for Hamilton Southeastern Schools students.
The HSE Polytechnic Program powered by Purdue Polytechnic High School is a first-of-its-kind partnership between HSE Schools, the City of Fishers, Hub & Spoke Institute and Purdue Polytechnic High School.
Purdue Polytechnic High School will provide curriculum, training and ongoing support. Day-to-day operations will be managed and taught by HSE teachers.
The program is based on the Purdue Polytechnic High School model in Broad Ripple and downtown Indianapolis which offers students STEAM-based courses.
The HSE Polytechnic Program powered by Purdue Polytechnic High School is expected to open in the fall and accept its 75 freshman students. A new round of students will be accepted each year. They will complete their entire high school education at Hub & Spoke Institute, 8100 E. 106th St., which houses the program.
Steve Loser, assistant principal at Fishers High School, is the program director.
Once the program begins, students will ride buses to the high school they normally attend, and will then board another bus to the Hub and Spoke Institute.
“The goal is they will be at the Hub & Spoke campus and start at about 7:30 (a.m.), and then they board the bus around 2:05 or 2:10 (p.m.) from the Hub & Spoke campus to make it back in time to board the high school’s bus around 2:30 or 2:35 to then get home in that way,” Loser said.
Although much of the students’ education will be done at the HSE Polytechnic Program, they can return to their high school during the day to participate in extracurricular activities not offered through the HSE Polytechnic Program.
“Students can travel to their home high school for what would be those high schools’ third period or fifth period, so they would board a bus in middle of the day to go to the home high school and maybe go to band, choir, orchestra advanced weight training, any of those other types of what are called electives,” Loser said. “Our goal is to get the students engaged in high school the way they want to be.”
Loser said courses taught at the HSE Polytechnic Program will be interdisciplinary rather than being taught in isolation, such as having separate classes for English, math or science.
“This needs to be built as such that students are applying and using any of those content areas, but teachers have to be really intentional how they are teaching skills,” Loser said. “Maybe in an engineering design challenge, math and science skills are involved in that concept, then maybe students present that to community members or stakeholders at the end of the project to bring in persuasive skills for English. Maybe there’s a design brief or written skills.
“Students are asked not just to learn that content, but they would actually do something creative and innovative with that problem or challenge that pushes their content learning to a higher level.”
Loser said HSE Purdue Polytechnic is not a new high school but is a unique partnership allowing HSE and Fishers High School students to access new opportunities.
“As far as we know, there’s nothing like this that exists in the country. It really is the first of its kind, and it’s a world-class partnership with the different things we have in here,” said David Decker, founder of Hub & Spoke Institute. “Students can get connected to high-paying, in-demand careers, receive their high school diploma and college credits. We have created an environment that allows kids to come in here and discover those passions. There are all kinds of options, and we are just trying to help kids find out what they’re passionate about and connect them to that successful pathway.
“It’s really educational reform at its finest.”
For more, visit hseschools.org/academics/hse-polytechnic-program.
There is no additional cost if a student is accepted to attend HSE Polytechnic Program powered by Purdue Polytechnic High School. Seventy-five freshman students will be accepted to the program each year.
Applicants must represent the population represented at HSE and Fishers High School.
“The goal is to engage with the underrepresented population, whether that be based on race, gender, those types of things. The makeup of the student body needs to reflect the diverse population of the Fishers community,” Program Director Steve Loser said.
Students also must show they are ready to participate in self-directed learning.
“You have to make sure a kid is going to be able to manage their own time,” Loser said. “There will be online or blended learning, and that blended learning means kids might be working on some online courses to meet a world language requirement for the academic or technical honors diploma.”