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News Item: Homepage

Message from the Principal

Dear New Tech High Students and Families,


I must remind you that as a public high school, we take a neutral stance on all political issues.  However, it is important to remind ourselves why we do what we do: to challenge our students to believe no opportunity is out of their reach with the right determination and preparation.  We know that many of our students and families were affected or know someone that was affected by the decision to end DACA.  Now, we will not get into the specifics about potential directions legislation can go, but we will affirm the fact that every student at New Tech High deserves a safe and purposeful space to grow as a learner and we strive to continue to be that place.


Whether one of our students is a DREAMER or going through a gender transition process or deciding what colleges to apply to or worrying about how to support teammates in a project, we are committed to the development of every New Tech High student.  When talking about the Road to Success we try to help each student pave, I always reference three things: eligibility, awareness, and preparedness.  We know that regardless of your family's background, beliefs, or opinions, we can all agree that we have a shared interest in making New Tech High the type of learning environment that every single student has the opportunity to chase their own path to success.


I just recently shared some surprising statistics with students from our most recent California Healthy Kids Survey:

  • 26% of students had been harassed or bullied in the last year

  • 20% of students were victims of cyberbulling in the last year

  • 20% of students were currently using alcohol or drugs

  • 25% of students were offered, sold, or given illegal drugs in the past year

  • 34% of students didn’t feel close to their classmates at New Tech High

  • 55% of students suffered serious anxiety

  • 21% of students seriously considered suicide at least once in the last year


I don’t want to paint a bleak picture (93% of students felt a strong sense of connectedness to New Tech High and 95% of students felt that NTHS was a safe place), but it is important to point out that caring for our students is a never ending job with no end goal.


We believe every student, whether currently affected by the decision to end DACA, dealing with personal substance issues, struggling with personal mental health, or a wide variety of other issues, deserves to be a part of a community that wraps them with love.  We know that your student might struggle with anxiety or depression.  We know that your student has a friend that struggles with anxiety or depression.  We know that your student might be dealing with personal substance issues.  We know that your student might know someone that brings drugs to campus everyday.  We know that your student might have a friend that is undocumented.  We know that we are not perfect, but we will continue to try and provide supports and structures for all students to have a safe place to grow as a person.  I encourage you to talk to your child about their personal struggles or struggles a friend might be having.  It truly does take a village and we also know that not every student buys into the culture we have created.  If your student has a personal struggle or know someone that does or is mistreating our school culture, I encourage you to have them reach out to a teacher, Mrs. Martinez, Ms. Miller, or myself.  We have the tools to try to provide the scaffolds necessary to


We are committed to every single student that has walked through our doors, that is currently here, and will be here in the years to come.  Recent studies have showed that developing psychological safety (meaning people feel safe to take risks and be vulnerable) is key to building a culture of togetherness and care.  Being human-centered is at the core of our values and what makes the New Tech High culture unlike any other.  Trust, respect, and responsibility are more than just words if viewed correctly.  We must protect that culture, live that culture, and transform that culture.  We will always continue to strive to create project experiences that are relevant, engaging, and real world for students. Thank you for all you do for your student, the fellow students of New Tech High, and our New Tech High family.


Riley Johnson

Principal, New Tech High

Posted by: Riley Johnson Published:9/5/17
Audience: Homepage