Advanced Technologies Academy
|Advanced Technologies Academy|
|Las Vegas, Nevada|
|Type||Magnet public high school|
|Motto||Academics Plus Technology|
|Faculty||60.0 (on FTE basis)|
|Enrollment||1,097 (as of 2015-16)|
|Student to teacher ratio||18.3|
|Campus||Small (12.8 Acres/ 0.626 miles2)|
|Color(s)||Teal and purple|
|Rivals||Northwest CTA and Veteran's Tribute|
Advanced Technologies Academy (A-TECH) is a magnet public high school in Las Vegas, Nevada with a focus on integrating technology with academics for students in grades 9-12. As of 2016, Advanced Technologies Academy was ranked #1 in the state of Nevada by Startclass.com. The magnet school program was founded in 1994 and is part of the Clark County School District. The first year included only 9th and 10th grade, adding a grade each year. The first graduating class was 1997, and the first graduating class with all four years of attendance was 1998. As of 2011, the school had an enrollment of 1,059 students and 60 classroom teachers on a FTE basis, for a student-teacher ratio of 18:9. The magnet school focuses on computer and technology related study fields.
Unlike traditional high schools, A-TECH has no team sports. Students wishing to play team sports participate at their zoned high school. Games of flag football and basketball had been held between A-TECH and Las Vegas Academy (another local magnet school with no sports teams) since the school's opening, though have been discontinued since 2008. Games of flag football and soccer are held annually between A-TECH and Northwest Career and Technical Academy, a magnet school that was opened in 2008.
The gymnasium building began construction during the 1998-1999 school year, and opened in the year 2000.
Efforts to increase the student population at the school began in the early 2000s. Construction of the school's east wing (including additional classrooms, offices, and a lecture hall) and expansion of the existing cafeteria began in 2002, and was completed in time for the start of the 2003-2004 school year. The expansion increased enrollment from approximately 750 students to just over 1000.
Fields of study
A-TECH currently provides eight areas of study:
- Architectural Design: Students in Architectural Design are introduced to the principles of architectural drawing, design, and introductory civil engineering concepts using two and three-dimensional drawing techniques, rendering, and animation to prepare for jobs in the fields of architecture and engineering. Areas of concentration include building codes, construction methods and materials, climate, energy efficiency, sustainability, green building concepts, presentation skills and portfolio development. Students test their skills through project based learning activities and participation in local and national design contests. Upon successful completion of this program, students will have acquired entry-level skills for employment in this field.
- Business Management: Students are prepared with the principles and operations of business and management found in today’s technologically advanced economy. The curriculum prepares students for customer relationships and multiple forms of management associated with business. Economics, finance, operations, and professional development are emphasized throughout the program. The appropriate use of technology and industry-related equipment is an integral part of the program.
- Computer Science: In Computer Science, students focus on programming in C++ and Java. The programing experience is enhanced by the use of several IDEs such as CodeBlocks, BlueJ, InteliJ, and many more. It also incorporates the 21st Century Curriculum and prepares students to move forward in their chosen field whether it is software development, game development, app development, or any other field that students may choose to pursue. Students are further prepared through their development of workplace readiness skills and employability skills for career readiness. Students will have several opportunities to participate in internships, hackathons, student lead workshops, and the Hour of Code.
- Engineering: Engineering students engage in open-ended problem solving, learn and apply the engineering design process, and use the same technology and software as are used in Industry. Students are immersed in design as they investigate topics such as 3D modeling, machine design and control, forces, structures, basic electronics and circuit design, manufacturing, and teamwork, beginning post-secondary education, or careers.
- Graphic Design: Students focus on the professional areas of graphic design, computer art, and video. Students develop skills in the areas of drawing, digital and visual communications, design critiquing, portfolio development, and presentations. Projects, design competitions, and internships allow students to apply their skills at professional levels.
- IT Networking: In Networking Technology, students develop the skills necessary to support microcomputers with various platforms and to administer network systems. Students are taught the fundamentals of Local Area Network design and the responsibilities of a system administrator. Students prepare for the Cisco CCNA, and A+ Certification.
- Legal Studies: Students in this program focus on civil and criminal law with practical training in the skills necessary for pursuing a law related occupation. Students will explore themes in both civil and criminal law reflecting American social, moral, political, and economic values. The appropriate use of technology and industry standard equipment is an integral part of this program.
- Web Design & Development: Courses in this program provide students with the skills necessary to create websites for a variety of purposes. Students develop their knowledge of content, placement, use of color and graphics, typography, and message using industry standard software. Students use various web design languages, design concepts, and layout theories to create websites.
Awards and recognition
- During the 2003-04 school year, Advanced Technologies Academy was recognized with the Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence by the United States Department of Education, the highest award an American school can receive.
- ATECH was named a School of Distinction—top Technology Excellence high school—by Intel in 2005.
- Advanced Technologies Academy was recognized with the Exemplary School Award from the Nevada Department of Education for the graduating classes of 2002, 2003, 2005, and 2010, and received the High Achieving School Award from the Nevada Department of Education for the graduating classes of 2000, 2001, 2004, 2006, and 2007
- Magnet Schools of America recognized A-TECH as a School of Distinction in 2008 
- U.S. News & World Report selected A-TECH as a Silver Medal Winner of America's Best High Schools in 2008
- ATECH was recognized, for the second time, with the Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence by the United States Department of Education on September 15, 2011.
The school has also been visited by Louis Castle, cofounder of Westwood Studios.
In recognition to the school's recent nomination as one of the top five magnet schools in the United States, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush visited the school in 2014.
Former President Bill Clinton spoke at the school on Thursday, January 21, 2016 to bolster support in Nevada for his wife, Hillary Clinton, who was angling for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Notable faculty members
Some of the awards given to A-TECH faculty include:
- Computer Science teacher, John Snyder, who has received the following awards:
- Business Week Magazine National Award for Innovating Teaching in 1988
- Named Nevada Teacher of the year and Burger King State Teacher of the year in 1990
- Milken Educator Awards recipient in 1992
- He was named Tandy Technology Scholar in 1991
- Inducted into the Clark County Excellence in Education Hall of Fame in 1992
- He was named a Christa McAuliffe Fellow in 1994 and 1998
- Dolly Parton presented him with the Chasing Rainbows Award in 2003
- Inducted in the National Teachers Hall of Fame 2007
- Valarie Young (World History), the recipient of the Milken Educator award.
- Mike Patterson (Mathematics), Milken Educator awards recipient.
- Advanced Technologies Academy, National Center for Education Statistics Accessed May 27, 2008.
- "BLUE RIBBON SCHOOL Academy recognized by education secretary", Las Vegas Review-Journal, September 17, 2003. Accessed November 6, 2007. " The Advanced Technologies Academy was recognized as a Blue Ribbon School on Tuesday by U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige. The Clark County School District magnet high school is one of 220 outstanding schools to receive national recognition for efforts to raise student achievement. It is the only Nevada school to receive the award."
- U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon Schools Program: Schools Recognized 2003 through 2006 (PDF), United States Department of Education. Accessed May 11, 2006.
- CIBA cited as one of the best by Education Department, Journal Inquirer, November 16, 2006. "The Blue Ribbon award is given only to schools that reach the top 10 percent of their state's testing scores over several years or show significant gains in student achievement. It is considered the highest honor a school can achieve." Archived August 19, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- Viers Mill School Wins Blue Ribbon; School Scored High on Statewide Test; The Washington Post. September 29, 2005 "For their accomplishments, all three schools this month earned the status of Blue Ribbon School, the highest honor the U.S. Education Department can bestow upon a school."
- Technology Excellence: Advanced Technologies Academy, Intel and Scholastic Schools of Distinction Awards. Accessed November 6, 2007.
- Advanced Technologies Academy Official Website. Accessed March 9, 2008.
- Magnet Schools of America, Schools of Distinction. Accessed 2008. Archived March 7, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
- U.S. News & World Report 2008 Best High Schools. Accessed 2008.
- Advanced Technologies Academy achieves Blue Ribbon status again, Las Vegas Review-Journal. Accessed October 20, 2011.
- "O.K., Schools Are Wired. Now What?". Kairos.technorhetoric.net. 2000-01-07. Retrieved 2013-10-25.
- "Mrs. Bush's Remarks at Media Availability in Las Vegas". Georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov. Retrieved 2013-10-25.
- National Teachers Hall of Fame Archived August 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- Clark County School District Achievements Archived August 7, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Clark Milken Educator". Mff.org. Retrieved 2013-10-25.