What’s Working: DBExcel

Johnson City, TN (WJHL) DB Excel doesn’t look like any high school, and students and teachers don’t act like just any other high school.

“Our slogan is we are different on purpose, for a purpose and there are many students who just want a smaller learning environment,” said Principal Shanna Hensley.

Over 220 students in grades 9 to 12 apply and are accepted into the program. “We don’t really operate on a traditional schedule just because we can allow students if they need to spend more time with their math teacher they certainly do that during the day and not feel like they have to rotate through a bell schedule,” said Hensley.

The brand new state of the art building has only been open since January and it’s custom made to maximize student and teacher interaction. “We don’t have set classrooms, we don’t sit in straight rows, we have a very open floor plan in this facility, said teacher Sara Shaffer.

“We’ve got more space so we can work individually and group work and with the instructor which is nice,” said teacher Sam McCord.

In addition to the open space, students also have all the technology they need for this blended learning environment. “We have Mac computers with creative adobe suite where our students learn to use Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. We also have two 3D printers and a 3D scanner,” said Shaffer.

A cutting edge approach in state of the art facility, a perfect combination in this highschool of the future. “Our students are excited. We’ve seen a joy in them coming to school because of the environment that they are in,” said Hensley.

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