PTECH hosts info night for parents, students

JOHNSTOWN -- More than 150 parents and students attended an informational night at Jansen Avenue School here to hear details about the new HFM Pathways in Technology Early College High School (PTECH) Wednesday, April 30.

The Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery PTECH Application and Recruitment Team has received 120 applications from eighth-graders in 13 component school districts to consider for the 50 available spots in the inaugural class.

Students interested in science, technology, engineering and math and who are motivated to learn in a non-traditional setting were encouraged to apply.

The six-year sequence emphasizes individualized pathways to completion, work place experiences, mentorship, in-depth project-based learning and real world experiences. Students will simultaneously work toward earning a Regents High School Diploma and an Associate's Degree in Applied Science from Fulton-Montgomery Community College at no cost to their families.

Applicants and their parents heard PTECH Principal Mike Dardaris outline PTECH's out-of-the-box approach to high school, highlighting the free college degree students can earn through the program.

"It's exciting as we move from the planning phases of PTECH to actually interacting with parents and potential students," Dardaris said. "I was overwhelmed by the participation by parents during the information night."

The applicants will learn whether they have been accepted into the program by the end of May. The HFM PTECH Application and Recruitment Team Committee is reviewing applications, and Dardaris will meet with applicants in their home schools in the coming weeks.

Students who are not selected will be placed on a waiting list.

Along with HFM BOCES and the participating school districts, the PTECH program has been developed in partnership with 14 local businesses, the Center for Economic Growth, the Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce and F-MCC. It is being funded in part by a $2.4 million state grant.