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Cuttin' (Edge) Class

When teacher writes your name on the "smart board," is it a good or a bad thing?

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This story appears in the June 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

If you stumble onto the campus of Sage Hill School at 10:30 a.m. on any given weekday, it might feel like you just set foot in a ghost town. There are no students playing basketball on the sparkling new outdoor courts, no teachers hustling back to class with freshly made copies. In fact, there are no classes going on at all. Everyone in this tiny community (which will eventually grow to between 500 and 600 students) is inside one room, where a town meeting is taking place. These daily gatherings are just one aspect of Sage Hill that sets it apart from other high schools.

The manicured campus, set atop a hill in posh Newport Beach, California, drew immediate attention as a "tech high school" when it opened in September 2000. The school's financial backers include former AOL executive Stephen Johnson and Buy.com founder Scott Blum, who would like to see business classes added to the school's traditional college prep curriculum.

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