CDAT will begin in the Fall of 2010 at Lanier High School. There will be a limit of 30 for enrollment, based on a first-come, first-served basis. This first cohort's small size will allow for better research and flexibility during the year, and staff will be even more prepared for the second year and second cohort.
During the first year, CDAT will have approximately 30 9th grade students. Their schedule will be as follows:
- 7:10am - 10:04am - CDAT Block, which will include 2 hours of Digital Media classes, and 1 hour of Language Arts. The hours will not be separated by bells, the required GCPS standards will be covered by students on their schedule, within a broad amount of time (a week or two).
- 10:10am - 11:04am - Lunch, with the opportunity to stay on for extra work time.
- 11:10am - 12:04pm Fourth period
- 12:10pm - 1:04pm Fifth period
- 1:10pm - 2:10pm Sixth period
- (4th - 6th period classes will consist of a Math, Social Studies and Science)
There are two main goals for our 9th grade students of CDAT: they will be the highest level communicators possible using appropriate language and technologies, and they will have selected a more specialized area in which to pursue their interests in the worlds of Design and Technology.
While there are no final plans for what students will study in their following years (10th - 12th), there are general principles that are fairly certain to be followed:
- Students will only have half days, not full days, of this studio environment. Research has shown that students in full day environments like this are challenged in college lectures and multiple choice only exams, so they will always retain a half-day of traditional high school courses.
- Students will be encouraged and assisted to apply their discovered interests in the following years, which should refine their skills to a collegiate level before they graduate high school. This will also create more interest in their studies, as they can utilize non-traditional methods of their choice to demonstrate their learning.
- In their third and/or fourth years, students will be guided to internships, entrepreneurship and real-world project development. Excellent opportunities exist at various levels in Gwinnett and in Georgia, and students will be encouraged to pursue what is right for them and their goals.
- Students will meet weekly with their advisors, to help them clarify their thoughts about possible interests, careers, and negotiating their high school life too. It is critical to make relationships with all students, and demonstrate our concern for their dreams and ambitions as individuals.
One primary avenue for post-CDAT will be Game Development and other similar media. We have a substantial Game and Simulation Industry in Georgia, as well as other related industries. Students will be able to develop their digital skills while connecting them to continued project work with other core subjects.