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Charter school franchise High Tech High is expanding once again, this time to North County, where a new middle school will serve roughly 300 students beginning next fall.

The lauded system of schools uses projects that span across different academic subjects, such art dioramas with embedded video about the issues affecting a local blood bank, or board games that teach mathematics to younger peers, as teaching tools.

It currently operates eight schools that serve roughly 2,500 students in the San Diego region, and states that 100 percent of its graduates are accepted to college.

Interestingly, I found out about the new school from Ginger Relyea, one of the parents who helped initiate — and later lamented the demise of — Theory Into Practice Academy, a charter school that Relyea felt offered an alternative to schools driven by standardized testing. Relyea hopes that the new High Tech school could be another option.

“It seems like kids are just drilled so extensively,” said Relyea, who is now volunteering her time for the High Tech expansion. “There has to be a better way.”

The new school is hosting an open house Saturday at 1420 W. San Marcos Blvd. in San Marcos.

EMILY ALPERT

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