Oracle Looks to Build Design Tech High School in Redwood City

Redwood City, Oracle, Design Tech High School, Millbrae, Oracle Corporate Citizenship, Oracle Education Foundation, San Mateo

By Nancy Amdur

Oracle Corp.’s campus in Redwood City may soon become home to an innovative charter high school focused on design-thinking and personalized learning.

Plans call for Design Tech High School, which opened in 2014 at Mills High School in Millbrae, to gain its own site on about four acres of Oracle’s campus. The site now includes open space and a surface parking lot, said Lindy Chan, a senior planner with the city.

The city is preparing an environmental impact report for the proposed project, which calls for a two-story 75,000-square-foot school at 275 Oracle Parkway. It also would include 38 parking spaces and a 22-space drop-off area. The high school and Oracle aim to open the school on the company’s campus in August 2017 with 550 students and 30 faculty.

Oracle would provide the land and pay for construction of the building, said Colleen Cassity, executive director of Oracle Corporate Citizenship. The software maker is interested in hosting the high school as education has long been a “philanthropic focus” for Oracle, she said, though this would be the first time the company constructed a school facility.

“We see great potential in Design Tech High School’s model and we’re in a unique position to provide a permanent home to support the school,” Cassity said. The Redwood City-based company likes the school’s education approach of teaching students to use “design thinking and to develop creative confidence,” she added.

“This approach, combined with its embrace of technology, make a lot of sense to us,” Cassity continued. “These are skills young people need to be successful problem-solvers in the future.”

The Oracle Education Foundation previously made a $75,000 grant to support the school’s intersession program.

Design Tech High School, known as d.tech and designed by DES Architects + Engineers, is a free public school authorized by the San Mateo Union High School District. D.tech aims to help students develop skills such as collaboration, creativity, self-management and communication, according to the school’s Web site. The project-based curriculum emphasizes problem-solving and offers individual learning plans.

Image courtesy of DES Architects + Engineers

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