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High School Students Gain Real-World Experience

High school students at the Innovation School at Cool Valley are getting real-world experience as interns this quarter in the FFSD technology department. Innovation is a Big Picture School that is modeled around a student-centered learning design, where students are actively invested in their learning by participating in interest-based internships. Innovation students intern--often twice a week for an entire school day--with experts in their field of interest. 

Anne Welty and Willie Smith, FFSD technology specialists instructed Damont’e Patton-Alexander, Jamarion Walker, Zachery Riley, and Zion King on how to perform a variety of technical tasks and duties relating to the installation, diagnosis, repair, and maintenance of District technology.

“We thought it would be a great idea to partner with our students at Innovation and have them work in the technology department,” said Rich Miller, director of technology services. “Industry internships play an important part in the Big Picture Learning approach to education.”

The entire Innovation learning experience is personalized to be hands-on and guided to each student’s interests, talents, and needs. 

“Students are getting the chance to learn what happens in technology and work on a lot of the things we do here in the department,” Welte said. 

To learn more about Innovation School at Cool Valley, visit