How to Run a High-Tech High School

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This spring SchoolBook formed a partnership with LynNell Hancock's education reporting class at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. During the semester, the students produced articles about issues and people in the city's public school system, and posted them on the class's Web site, SchoolStories: Education Reporting in NYC. For the next few weeks, SchoolBook will be featuring the students' work. This is another in the series.

When Jeremy Matuk requires tutoring for any of his students, he fills out a form with a free Google application. At the Academy for Careers in Television and Film, a Long Island City, Queens, public school where Matuk teaches 10th grade social studies, that simple action immediately sets off a series of events. It creates tutoring sessions and reminders in his and his students’ online calendars. It notifies the student’s teacher advisor. It logs the information in a centralized spreadsheet. It creates a tutoring contract as PDF that is sent to Matuk, the student and their advisor.

Thus is life in an automated school.

Principal Mark Dunetz vowed to streamline some of the things that make most schools inefficient when he opened the Academy for Careers in Television and Film four years ago.

The tutoring program was one of them. Every school has one. And teachers need to be compensated for tutoring overtime. But not every school has a way to analyze the input and output for those hours. Dunetz decided to run his trade school for filmmaking, directing and lighting design using free Google apps.

Read more of Andrew Parson's article, "Tutoring and Attendance? There’s an App for That" on

And learn about the school's film and television internships in Cristabelle Tumola's article, "Lights, Camera, Internship."