Oracle Education Foundation - Design Tech High School
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Design Tech High School

The Oracle Education Foundation is proud to partner with Design Tech High School (d.tech), an innovative, free, California public high school.

Design Tech High School at Oracle

School Facility

Southeast view
Southeast view
Northwest view
Northwest view
Northwest view at sunset
Northwest view at sunset

The d.tech Model

Oracle believes that d.tech’s model—which emphasizes extreme personalization and putting knowledge into action—has enormous potential to prepare students for the challenges and opportunities that we experience in our workplace today, as well as those that our global society will face in the century ahead.

Learn more about d.tech
Oracle + d.tech

A Home for d.tech

To fully realize its potential, d.tech needs a secure home. Oracle is in a position to provide that home, purpose-built to support d.tech’s unique culture and continuing evolution.


Video Highlights

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What is Design Thinking?

Design thinking, also known as human-centered design, is rooted in the belief that all problems, even seemingly intractable ones, are solvable. Moreover, it means believing that the people who face those problems every day are the ones who hold the key to their solution. Design thinking offers problem solvers of any stripe a chance to design with communities, to deeply understand the people they’re looking to serve, to dream up scores of ideas, and to create innovative new solutions that meet people’s actual needs.

Design thinkers adopt an iterative approach to designing solutions. They begin by empathizing with the end user, defining needs, ideating, rapidly prototyping, and testing with users. They learn from failure as well as success, refine their prototypes based on user feedback, and iterate until they arrive at successful solutions.

Design Tech High School teaches students to solve real-world problems using a design thinking approach similar to that taught at Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, also known as the d.school.

Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs

Q. What is Design Tech High School (d.tech)?

d.tech is an innovative, free California public charter high school that opened in August 2014. It is authorized by the San Mateo Union High School District. Oracle plans to construct a new, state-of-the-art facility for d.tech on its HQ campus in Redwood Shores, California. The school currently occupies a San Mateo County Office of Education building on Rollins Road. It is expected to move to its new home on the Oracle campus in 2017 with 550 students and 30 faculty and staff. The school will remain fully autonomous. To learn more, visit www.designtechhighschool.org.

Q. How does the school operate?

School hours are 8:30am–3:30pm. With 199 school days per year, school is out for winter and spring breaks, as well as the month of July. While summer school is not offered, d.tech offers a four-week extension program for students who need additional time to build competency.


Q. What is the curriculum like?

The d.tech model is guided by two principles: extreme personalization and putting knowledge into action.

Students solve real problems using a design-thinking approach like that taught at Stanford University's Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, aka the d.school. Learn more about Design Thinking at www.whatisdesignthinking.org.

Students take regular academic courses that are aligned with the Common Core State Standards.

Four times a year, for two weeks, students break from their regular courses to take electives delivered by the community. The Oracle Education Foundation, Tech Shop, Bon Appétit, small businesses, nonprofits, and other organizations and individuals all provide workshops. This program is called Intersession.

The Oracle Education Foundation (OEF) empowers students with the creative confidence to engage with today’s technologies and design tomorrow’s innovations.

In Intersession workshops provided by OEF, students learn coding and electrical engineering, and apply these skills to design challenges. Oracle Volunteers coach students through these 30-hour workshops, which are both challenging and fun.


Q. Why is Oracle building a school facility?

Education is a cornerstone of Oracle's philanthropic efforts—and has been for decades. Oracle sees enormous potential in d.tech’s pioneering model, but d.tech needs a secure home to realize its full potential. Oracle is in a position to provide that home, purpose-built to support the school’s innovative culture and continuing evolution. We are thrilled to provide the land and build a state-of-the-art facility for d.tech.


Q. What are the benefits to the community of having d.tech at Oracle?

Oracle is providing the land and paying for the building. The community gets a new high school without spending taxpayer dollars.

Design Tech students will lead summer workshops on design thinking, open to local elementary and middle school children.

Additionally, d.tech students will develop creative solutions to benefit the Redwood Shores community. For example, d.tech students could help senior citizens with their computers and other electronic devices. They could help senior citizens document their life stories, and even build assistive technologies to improve quality of life.

This year, d.tech students taught elementary students at the Hiller Aviation Museum, and worked with their neighbors at the SPCA and the Burlingamer.

Enrollment FAQs

Q. Will my child be able to attend d.tech?

California residency is the only eligibility requirement. There is no competitive application process. Parents register their students online. If there are more registrants than places, there is a blind lottery. Students from San Mateo Union High School District and Sequoia Union High School District will receive preference in these lotteries.

Q. What is the average acceptance rate?

In the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 school years, 100% of registrants were admitted. While 10-15% of registrants were waitlisted, d.tech was ultimately able to offer every student a spot. For the 2016-2017 school year, d.tech had approximately 500 registrants. The incoming class was determined by lottery.


Q. Will there be a guaranteed number of spots for children of Oracle employees or children who live in Redwood Shores?

No, there will be no guaranteed spots for the children of Oracle employees or for children who live in Redwood Shores.

Economic FAQs

Q. What is the economic model?

Design Tech High School is a public school that receives public funds as well as grants and some private funding. Though d.tech has start-up costs, it plans to be fully sustainable on the public dollar by 2018.

Q. How is the school funded?

Design Tech High School, like most California public schools, is funded according to a per student allocation. The funding rate per student is determined through the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF).

Current rate = $8,393 per student
2018 rate = $9,000 per student


Q. Does funding follow students from their home district to d.tech?

It depends. If the student is from a revenue limit district (state-funded) the charter school receives 70% reimbursement.

If the student is from a basic aid district (locally funded), like Sequoia Union High School District, the rate must be determined by an MOU.

Design Tech is chartered by San Mateo Union High School District, whose staff develop MOUs with basic aid districts that allow money to follow students, whenever possible.

Sequoia Union High School District students’ funding follows them to d.tech.


Q. How will this school affect local taxpayers? Are parcel taxes or bonds possible?

Charter schools cannot generate parcel tax measures. However, charter schools have been able to access parcel tax revenue from districts whose students have preference for attendance.

Bonds are used by cities, counties and school districts to finance the acquisition and construction of public facilities and land. They are not an issue here, as Oracle owns the land and is paying for the building.


Q. What happens to the school during difficult economic times when district budgets are cut?

Like all public schools, if budgets are cut, d.tech would have to raise additional funds privately or cut elements of its program.

Traffic and Parking FAQs

Q. How will parking work?

There will be 35 spaces for d.tech faculty and students. 5-10 student parking places will be available only to juniors and seniors with internships to which they must drive. Otherwise, students will not be allowed to drive to Design Tech High School at Oracle.

The “no student driving/parking” policy will be codified in d.tech’s Student Code of Conduct. Students who violate the Code of Conduct are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including suspension and expulsion.

24 transient spaces will be provided for student drop-off and pick-up, and there will continue to be 14 public parking spaces for Bay Trail users.

Q. How will alternative transit work?

Oracle will increase the capacity of its existing shuttles, connecting to CalTrain and BART, to carry d.tech students. Oracle shuttles have bike racks, so biking will be a possible first and last mile solution for students' commute.

50% of d.tech students currently take public transit to school. Using public transit is encouraged in school culture.


Q. What will the flow of traffic look like?

A traffic study was conducted in June 2015. A Transportation Demand Management Program has been developed and any actions necessary to mitigate the impact of the school project will be taken. The school day is shorter than the work day. So, school traffic should not affect the afternoon rush hour.

Building FAQs

Q. What will the building look like? Will it match Redwood Shores’ aesthetic?

Yes, the two-story, LEED-certified building will be harmonious with Redwoods Shores’ aesthetics and with its natural setting beside the Belmont slough. It will be harmonious with the iconic Oracle office buildings, yet distinct, with some earth-toned exterior materials.

Q. Will there be designated places for the students to hang out outside?

Yes, the facility will be surrounded by green outdoor spaces for the students to enjoy. However, d.tech is a closed campus. Students will not be allowed off campus during school hours without permission, and will visit the Oracle campus only for structured activities.


Q. If I have questions or a complaint, whom do I go to?

For now (the planning phase), please visit the Redwood City Planning Department’s website at www.redwoodcity.org/designtech. Once the school is operational at Oracle, address student-related issues with d.tech administration and address facility-related issues with the Oracle Real Estate & Facilities team.

Additional Benefits Oracle Provides to the Community

Q. What are some other ways in which Oracle contributes to the local community?

Oracle works to improve the quality of life in the communities where it does business. In FY16, Oracle donated $16 million in cash globally to nonprofit organizations to advance education, protect the environment, and enrich community life. Below is a list of the nonprofit organizations in and around the Redwood Shores/Redwood City community that receive grants and sponsorships from Oracle. For more information on Oracle’s philanthropic efforts, visit oracle.com/citizenship.

Stanford University
FY16 Grant: $2.5M
Program: A 10-year pledge to support construction of the new hospital at Stanford Medical Center.
10-Year Total: $25M

San Mateo County Office of Education
FY16 Grant: $100K
Program: The STEM Center, which provides professional learning opportunities for teachers.
21-Year Total: $1.65M

Second Harvest Food Bank
FY16 Grant: $100K
Program: The Food Assistance Program, which provides 62 million pounds of food to over 240,000 people each month.
27-Year Total: $1.3M

Belmont-Redwood Shores School District
FY16 Grant: $60K
Program: A math and science coach to serve all six schools.
21-Year Total: $842K

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula
FY16 Grant: $55K
Program: STEM programs for underserved students across all nine sites, including Redwood City.
25-Year Total: $675K

Redwood City School District
FY16 Grant: $50K
Program: Intensive, district-wide teacher professional development in K-8 math and science.
18-Year Total: $732K

School Force
FY16 Grant: $45K
Program: Save the Music and the Technology Educator Academy.
10-Year Total: $415K

Marine Science Institute
FY16 Grant: $30K
Program: The Discover Our Bay marine science programs.
20-Year Total: $353K

San Carlos Educational Foundation
FY16 Grant: $30K
Program: Implementation of a computational thinking and engineering pathway.
7-Year Total: $137K

CuriOdyssey
FY16 Grant: $25K
Program: School Science Programs.
27-Year Total: $202K

Habitat for Humanity
FY16 Grant: $25K
Program: A new 20-unit condominium development in downtown Redwood City.
10-Year Total: $198K

Redwood City Education Foundation
FY16 Grant: $25K
Program: The Smart Grants program, which supports classroom technology, field trips, and teacher professional development.
10-Year Total: $221K

Carlmont Academic Foundation
FY16 Grant: $22.5K
Program: STEAM programming, including Digital Arts classes, Biotechnology labs, and robotics.
6-Year Total: $135K

BUILD
FY16 Grant: $20K
Program: A four-year entrepreneurship program.
4-Year Total: $80K

Citizen Schools
FY16 Grant: $20K
Program: Apprenticeships led by volunteer professionals in various subjects, including solar car design and web development.
4-Year Total: $85K

Mid-Peninsula Boys & Girls Club
FY16 Grant: $20K
Program: Edu-Tech, an afterschool and summer program.
17-Year Total: $157K

Sequoia High School Education Foundation
FY16 Grant: $20K
Program: Java elective class at Sequoia High School.

Aim High
FY16 Grant: $15K
Program: Five-week STEM summer program at Roosevelt Middle School in Redwood City.
6-Year Total: $90K

Rebuilding Together Peninsula
FY16 Grant: $15K
Program: A National Rebuilding Day home repair project and a celebration picnic for volunteers.
11-Year Total: $130K

Redwood City Fire Department
FY16 Grant: $10K
Program: Certification program for the Junior Fire Academy.
9-Year Total: $90K

San Mateo County Sheriff’s Activity League
FY16 Grant: $10K
Program: The Connecting Cops with Kids program.
3-Year Total: $30K

Samaritan House
FY16 Grant: $10K
Program: The Food & Nutrition Program, which provides nutritious, fresh food and produce to low-income families.
3-Year Total: $35K

Mills-Peninsula Hospital Foundation
FY16 Grant: $7K
Program: Women’s health initiatives.
15-Year Total: $55K

Sequoia Awards
FY16 Grant: $6.5K
Program: The annual dinner, which awards a scholarship to a Redwood City high school senior pursuing a degree in science or technology.
17-Year Total: $145K

Redwood City Library Foundation
FY16 Grant: $5K
Program: The San Mateo County STEM Fair and the Wild, Wild West fundraising event.
17-Year Total: $267K

Sequoia Union High School District
FY16 Grant: $3K
Program: The Junior Achievement Social Innovation Camp for all Sophomores in the district, held at the Oracle Conference Center.
5-Year Total: $63K

Redwood City San Mateo County Chamber of Commerce
FY16 Grant: $500
Program: The annual Board of Directors Luncheon.
8-Year Total: $4K

My New Red Shoes
FY15 Grant: $2.5K
Program: All Girls Hackathon.

San Mateo County Library System/Belmont Library
Program: The technology/learning center in the Belmont Library.
Total: $300K

Global grants that serve learners worldwide

Alice
FY16 Grant: $650K
Program: A free program that teaches students object-oriented programming and Java.
5-Year Total: $3M

Khan Academy
FY16 Grant: $200K
Program: A free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere.
5-Year Total: $1.12M

Greenfoot + BlueJ
FY16 Grant: $510K
Program: Free programs that teach students object-oriented programming and Java.
5-Year Total: $2.5M

Raspberry Pi Foundation
FY16 Grant: $120K
Program: The Oracle Weather Station.
3-Year Total: $480K