Putnam EDGE High School is a free public charter school govern Edge for Educational Excellence, Inc.
Edge for Educational Excellence, Inc. (EDGE Foundation) was founded by the Putnam County School District (PCSD) in 1985 to support education and programs that recognize student achievement. The Foundation is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization.
In March of 2009, Superintendent Tom Townsend convened a group of students, teachers, administrators, parents and leaders from the business community to update the district’s Strategic Plan.
After several months of intense work, it was evident to many that drastic measures were needed to encourage students to stay in school and get an education that could positively impact their life. It was also clear that, while Putnam County had so many advantages with economic development, businesses often selected other locations because of the availability of a skilled and educated workforce.
One of the newest Administrators at the School District made the group aware of New Tech Network (NTN) Schools that were opening across the country. (You can read the history of New Tech under another tab). A group of about 20 people visited Manor New Tech High School in Austin, Texas in December and we were “wowed.” We were impressed with the use of technology and how learning was driven by the students instead of the teachers. In every classroom, students were huddled in groups working on projects – they were engaged – collaborating, communicating, sharing and helping each other. Learning was fun!
Another group visited a school in North Carolina and, while it was a little different, the same activities and focus on learning was taking place under the New Tech model.
The PCSD was very interested in bringing this model of education to Putnam County and decided to ask the EDGE Foundation to apply to establish a public charter school and implement the New Tech Network model. Through this strategic partnership, students and teachers within the district would reap the benefits of New Tech and the new school would have the resources it needed for a successful start.
In 2011 the EDGE Foundation was reorganized in an effort to start a public charter high school in a strategic partnership with the School District and the New Technology Network.
Putnam EDGE High School opened in 2013 with 9th grade and plans to add a grade each additional school year. This was be the first New Tech Network school in Florida – what an exciting time to live in Putnam County!