Frequently Asked Questions
Please note: this list is not exhaustive, and if you have any other questions, you are encouraged to call the school or send us an email.
1) What is the difference between Gateway Tech School and Gateway College Preparatory School?
While we are run by the same parent organization (Orenda Education), and we share a name, we are really two separate and distinct schools. While both schools utilize elements of the “blended learning” model, Gateway Tech offers a four hour concentrated school day utilizing an on-line accessed curriculum.
Blended learning is any time a student learns in a supervised brick-and-mortal location away from home and through a combination of online delivery with some element of student control over time, place, path and/or pace.
With no more than one hundred (100) total enrolled students during the am or pm session, Tech students benefit from a small school environment and one-on-one interactions with our certified instructional staff. All courses offered at Tech are state-approved and conform to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). Currently, the instructional day at Gateway Tech is broken into two sessions: students attend from 8:00 AM-12:00 PM, or from 12:00 PM -4:00 PM..
Gateway Prep serves about one thousand (1,200) total enrolled students in grades K-12 in a full day academically challenging environment. All core courses at the Prep campus are offered at the pre-AP and AP levels. The school day at Gateway Prep is a full day (8:15-3:30) and as its name implies strives to prepare all students for the rigors of a four year college while also offering a wide selection of extra-curricular and athletic offerings.
Both school programs focus on college and career-readiness for students.
2) How do online courses work? How much do students have to do every day? Isn’t this just an “easy way out” of “regular” high school?
There are many misconceptions about programs such as Gateway Tech. Online learning has proven to be a valuable way for students at all levels, from kindergarten to doctoral level students to acquire knowledge, demonstrate comprehension, and collaborate with their peers. The courses are not any easier than their teacher-led counterparts. For example, if a student finds Geometry to be a challenge in a traditional setting, chances are it will be a challenge for him here too. The primary advantage is that students are able to pace their learning in a way to maximize comprehension.
The “teacher” is the software program, and in essence, they are the only student. While we do look for minimum amounts of work completed based on students’ ability, the pace at which they go is often controlled by their own level of comprehension. There are also “highly qualified” and certified teachers with students at all times to guide and monitor their progress and help them as needed. Success in this program is largely influenced by a student’s own desire and drive. Students working in this model learn to set goals and work independently.
3) What type of diploma do Gateway Tech students receive?
Gateway students follow the same graduation requirements as those in a traditional public school. They earn the same type of diploma offered in traditional settings.
4) How quickly can students get done with courses?
While we set minimum amounts of credits that must be achieved, students can accelerate through their courses and complete more than possible in a traditional setting.
5) Do students have to take TAKS and STAAR tests?
Gateway students must fulfill the same testing requirements as those in traditional schools.
6) Are there extra-curricular opportunities like there are on the other campus?
Students in the Tech program are welcome and encouraged to participate in extra-curricular offerings at the Prep campus, depending on the scheduling of these offerings.
7) Is transportation available?
FOR THE AFTERNOON SESSIONS ONLY, transportation is provided to and from selected sites in Round Rock, Leander, Cedar Park and Liberty Hill areas. For specific sites, please click on the Locations/Transportation link.
8) Do students have counseling services available? What about help choosing a college or career?
The coordinator is certified in school counseling and provides guidance in all areas including developing personal graduation plans, study skills and time management, goal setting, and transition planning for post-secondary training (college and /or career training.)
9) Is Tech an “alternative” school?
We are an alternative school of choice. We are NOT a discipline alternative school, but rather an academically-based one. Our code of conduct addresses our expectations such as attendance, respect, and effort, which are non-negotiable.
10) How do I enroll? What is the process like?
Because of the nature of our program, students can enroll at any time during the school year. See admissions procedures included in our website for further details.
Tabetha Totty, District PEIMS Coordinator, 512-868-5299