What is PTECH


MAY 10, 2017
5:00 PM – RM. 302

Woonsocket Area Career & Technical Center

In Attendance: William E. Webb, WACTC/P-TECH DIRECTOR
Leonora Hughes, Ann Croft, Nina Rathbun, Susan Stachurski

INTRO: Mr. Webb introduced himself and the instructors that were present who are part of the P-Tech team. He introduced Alexandra, a student who has volunteered to be a Spanish interpreter at eight of the WMS P-Tech presentations because a student asked if a translator would be present. One of the reasons for the meeting was to get the student/parent email information to make communication easier and more efficient. He mentioned Mr. Muller, Data, Media and Technology Facilitator, who would be in the Z-Space Lab after the meeting for anyone who wanted to try it out. He will also sign up any girls who are interested in participating in the Artemis Program at Brown University this summer.

Mr. Webb reported that only 35% of people who go to college make it. “Out of 100%, that is a very high number. That’s why we are here – to help you using The SUMMIT Program. I’ll tell you something that sounds strange. You must fail in order to pass. We try. We fail. We fix. We pass. We want you to fail and try something new. That’s how we learn. In this program you will earn college credits at CCRI. Each college credit is approximately $640 with the book. That cost is going to be taken care of for you. When you take a college course here, it’s like someone paying you $640 to take the course. This summer, the team has come up with an idea. They want to administer the ACCUPLACER to get an idea of where each student is academically. This way, students won’t have to repeat something they have already mastered. Some team-building activities will be conducted because all of you will become a team. We are looking at the last week of July to meet with CCRI because they want to take you out to their campus. Our partner CVS want us to take you by to see their plants. It’s not just the CVS stores you see everywhere. CVS is HUGE!”

Mr. Webb mentioned that Monday evening, Commissioner of Education Ken Wagner had a meeting during which he spoke about the state of education in RI. He praised Woonsocket High School’s Success 101 program and Mr. Henderson and Ann Croft. Webb noted that Success 101 will be incorporated into P-Tech. Wagner also mentioned the P-Tech program being available in Woonsocket. “We are so fortunate that Dr. McGee, Dr. Chan-Remka, and the administrative team jumped at this opportunity,” said Webb. “It’s work, but anything worth having you have to work for. There are three secrets to graduating high school: 1) Show up. You have a 70% chance of graduating if you just show up, 2) Do what you are asked to do, and 3) Ask for help. If you do these three things, you will graduate high school and you will get your Associate’s Degree,” explained Webb. He then opened up the meeting to questions from parents and students.


1) Does the program start on the first day of high school? Yes. You are a 9th grade student. The first day of school is for 9th graders only followed by a cookout. Ms. Croft noted that last year, all the students entered through the front of the high school.

2) Is the program located in this building? It’s in both buildings – here and the WHS. You will start here at the WACTC at 8 am and be here at least four periods.

3) What is the Artemis Program? That is a program at Brown this summer running for five weeks.

4) What happens if you move? If you stay in the State of RI, you can come here. We service the entire state now.

5) What happens if you fail the test (ACCUPLACER)? Nothing! It’s only to see what you already know.

6) What does a typical day look like in this program? The student has the first four periods of the day at the WACTC, which consists of self-guided learning. Periods 5, 6 & 7 are electives, gym, band, science, math, etc. Webb explained that college is actually easier than high school, it’s learning to manage your own time that makes it difficult. “Colleges don’t care if you fail. They have your money! We will give you time management skills in this program.”

7) When do you earn college credits? The goal is to have two or three college credits by the time you enter 10th grade. The more college credits you earn now, the less you have to do later.

8) Where do students take Periods 5, 6 and 7? Mostly at the WHS next door.

9) How do we get from this school to the WHS? You walk out the back door of this building and down some stairs to the back of the high school about 40 feet away. There’s a covered stairwell as well as a handicapped ramp.

10) Will it take 5 years to get an Associate’s Degree? You can do it in 4 years if you work really hard and take additional courses during the summer. In Years 4 & 5, getting the students to college is what we are working on now.

11) When they graduate from high school do they graduate with an Associate’s Degree? Normally it takes 2 ½ years to earn an A.S. degree, assuming you pass the ACCUPLACER. We want to take those 15 credits and chop them out.

12) Self-driven? Will there be a curriculum in place? Yes. Algebra 1, English, etc. will be part of the curriculum using the SUMMIT platform. SUMMIT is a tool that gives everyone a visual of what your child is doing and the goals they need to meet. They are still being taught. It’s about MASTERING each skill before going on to the nest skill.

13) Are the dates for the summer already set and what if we are on vacation and can’t make them? We are setting this up for YOU. If you have something planned already, we understand. Next year is a different story. This year we are just starting so you couldn’t be informed ahead of time. It’s amazing that we have so many of you here tonight. We are looking at dates right after school lends for two days, then the last week of July.

14) You asked for student’s emails. Will the parents get the emails also? Yes, probably more than you would like! I don’t want to call 53 students and parents. This way I can just send an email out to the group as a whole. It’s faster and more efficient. It’s all about communication – that’s very important in this program. We want you to graduate college.

15) If I am heading to Geometry, will I be forced to go back to Algebra 1? No. You will continue with Geometry. It depends on how you do on the ACCUPLACER.

16) Will the first couple of years be like prep for the college courses? You can’t take a college course until you pass the ACCUPLACER. That’s why you will keep taking it.

17) What about Science? Kids will be at different levels. How will that work? The teacher can put you in small groups to help each other out. Everyone has different strengths and move ahead at their own pace.

18) Self-driven – How are you going to gauge their progression? The SUMMIT platform tells you across the top the progress you are making. You master the project and move on to the next project. You will look at the mastery of your student at each level. Once they learn how to learn, they are all set.

19) Is this program the same thing as the FOCUS program at the WMS? Mr. Webb used an example of if you don’t know how to load paper in the graphics program, you can’t run the press. Mr. Webb asked everyone how they liked the meeting so far. The parents and students thought it was much better than the first one because they are getting their questions answered. The first one they just got the information.

20) Do you have any statistics from people that have gone through this program? We only have statistics from Year 1 of the SUMMIT Program in Providence. All the P-Tech student use it for math and scored higher than the students at the Providence Career and Technical Center.

Mr. Webb told everyone to enjoy the refreshments and then go and try out the Z-Space Lab if they liked. He asked any girls interested in the Artemis Program to see him.

The meeting ended at 6 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Nancy G. Belisle, WACTC Secretary

For more information contact Mr. Webb.
Please leave a message and we will return your call.