Advanced Technologies Academy (A-TECH, ATA, A-Tech) is a magnet public high school with a focus on integrating technology with academics for students in grades 9-12. 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 the 2005-06 school year, the school had an enrollment of 1,022 students and 58.0 classroom teachers, on a full-time equivalent (FTE) basis, for a student-teacher ratio of 17.6. 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 have been held between A-Tech and Las Vegas Academy (another local magnet school with no sports teams) since the school's opening.
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 studyEdit
A-TECH currently provides eight areas of study:
- Business and Finance (BF): Students are prepared with the principles and operations of business and finance found in today’s technologically advanced global economy. The curriculum includes marketing, entrepreneurship, financial service training, and accounting. Classes are enhanced by multimedia presentations, business simulations, internet research, electronic mail, time management and the preparation of a professional business plan. Students learn how to pay taxes and work with money.
- Law-Related Education (Legal Studies): Students in this program focus on civil and criminal law with practical training in the skills necessary for pursuing a career as an attorney, police officer, paralegal, social worker, and crime scene investigator. Students utilize hardcopy and online resources including the national reporter system. Specialized equipment is provided to aid students in analyzing crime scenes. Students successfully admitted into the Legal Studies program start off in street law, progress to Civil/Criminal Law and Victims' Rights, Criminalistics, and lastly Forensics.
- Computer Graphic Design (CG):In this program, 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 a professional level.
- Computer Aided Drafting (CAD):Students in CADD develop industry drawing standards in two and three-dimensional drawing techniques, rendering, and animation to prepare for fields of architecture and engineering. Students test their skills through participation in local and national design contests and in preparing for Autodesk certification.
- Systems Technology Support (STS): In Systems Technology Support, students develop the skills necessary to support microcomputers with various platforms and to administer network systems. Systems Technology Students have to pass an electronics course in order to graduate from the school with a Systems Technology Support diploma from the school and the school district. Students are taught the fundamentals of Local Area Network design and the responsibilities of a system administrator. Students prepare for the Novell CNA, Microsoft MCSA, Cisco CCNA, and A+ certification in the class.
- Information Technology (IT):Courses in this program provide students with the most diverse technological background of any computer area. Training in microcomputer operating systems, business applications, accounting, programming, system design and management are emphasized. Students are prepared for Microsoft Office Specialist Certification, Master Certification Exam, and A+ Certification. Students learn how to make a website and a webcast. As a requisite of the courses, students are required to learn HTML and Visual Basic. The program area could be molded in conjunction with Systems Technology Support.
- Computer Science (CS):In Computer Science, students focus on programming in Visual Basic and Java. The programming experience is enhanced by multimedia and website design for business, mathematics, science, and industry. Multimedia training in the techniques of three-dimensional modeling, morphing, animation and development of computer games is provided. Through website classes, students develop skills in designing and maintaining cutting edge professional websites. The computer science teacher was nominated for several awards and inducted in the Teacher's Hall of Fame in 06-07.
- Pre-Engineering Technology (ET): Students in Pre-Engineering develop knowledge of engineering principles, technological and engineering problem solving skills and decision making methods. The fields of civil, electrical, mechanical, and robotic engineering are studied through hands-on learning labs, interactive engineering software, and two courses through UNLV.
Awards and recognitionEdit
- 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.
- The Academy was named an Intel 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 2006, and received the High Achieving School Award from the Nevada Department of Education for the graduating classes of 2000, 2001, 2004, 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
Notable faculty membersEdit
Some of the awards given to A-Tech faculty include:
- Kellie Guild is the American Literature Honors Teacher and was named to Who's Who among English Teachers for 2006 and Cambridge Who's Who for 2007. She is the Junior League President for the 2006-2007 school year. She was the only one in Clark County who was in the initial group of graders for the National SAT Essay in 2005.
- Richard Knoeppel was inducted into the Clark County Excellence in Education Hall of Fame in the 2007-2008 school year.
- Claire Michels, Computer Graphics Design teacher; designed shoes for Nike and the logo for KFC among other logos for various national companies.
- 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 Award in 1991
- 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
- He is listed in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in American Education, and Who's Who in the World.
- Valarie Young (World History), the recipient of the Milken Educator award.
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