Describe campus/program, goals, and theory of change

The UTTIA’s guiding document is the Texas STEM (T-STEM) Academy Blueprint. It is our goal to serve as a demonstration site for schools seeking to develop STEM Schools. The UTTIA was one of the first schools in Texas to apply the T-STEM blueprint to the elementary grades.

The UTTIA specializes in STEM Education and offers a STEM Pathway with an Engineering focus or a Multidisciplinary Pathway with a Computer Science focus. As the UTTIA grows we anticipate adding a Biomedical Science pathway.

All students are expected to graduate on the Distinguished Academic Plan and complete 15-30+ hours of university credit. Students need to be Algebra ready by 8th grade and meet the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) assessment by the end of the sophomore year of high school to maximize the number of university credits earned while enrolled in high school.

Describe Blueprint Benchmark strengths

Benchmark 1: Advisory board that meets monthly ensuring the alignment of the campus to the blueprints.

Benchmark 4: Campus has PLCs for Job-embedded Learning and Instructional Coaching for  PBL.

Benchmark 5: Diagnostics and Continuous Monitoring/tracking of Student Progress w/ Multiple Assessments, including performance-based assessments.

Describe certifications
Industry Certifications
The PLTW Engineering Pathway prepares students to pass the Autodesk Inventor Certification exam. This will be available to students when they are seniors. We are also looking into other certifications that our students may be able to complete in computer science.
Describe degrees
N/A
What areas of interest do you have for Technical Assistance (up to 3 areas, rank in order of importance)?
  • Artifacts to developing a senior internship and capstone program for next year
  • Build partnerships with business/industry 
  • Creating a design team meeting beyond debriefing program
What tools or resources would be valuable to your campus to support your implementation of the blueprint?
  • Artifacts of exemplar internships and capstone programs
  • Artifacts of exemplar student leadership programs
What have been your challenges and how have you addressed them?

Refining the model for increase rigor in the curriculum and authentic learning opportunities.

School uses Innovative Instructional Strategies (i.e. PBL, CIF, PLTW, Rounds, New Tech) - please evaluate and describe
Strongly Agree
School uses Innovative Instructional Strategies (i.e. PBL, CIF, PLTW, Rounds, New Tech) - describe
In Project-Based Learning (PBL), the students go through an extended process of inquiry in response to a complex question, problem, or challenge in their courses. PBL allows for some degree of student “voice and choice,” rigorous projects are carefully planned, managed, and assessed to help students learn key academic content, practice 21st Century Skills (such as collaboration, communication & critical thinking), and create high-quality, authentic products & presentations.

The University of Texas at Tyler, IHE partner, is the provider of Project Lead The Way (PLTW) for the state of Texas. PLTW is the nation’s leading provider of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs. Through world-class K-12 curriculum, PLTW helps students develop the skills needed to succeed in the global economy. The academy offers the following PLTW STEM programs currently:
PLTW Launch is our program for third through fifth grades. Students become problem solvers using structured approaches, like the engineering design process, and employ critical thinking.
PLTW Gateway provides engineering and biomedical science curriculum for middle school students that challenges, inspires, and offers schools variety and flexibility. Students get rigorous and relevant experiences through activity-, project-, and problem-based learning. They use industry-leading technology to solve problems while gaining skills in communication, collaboration, critical-thinking, and creativity.
PLTW Engineering is our high school engineering program. It is about applying engineering, science, math, and technology to solve complex, open-ended problems in a real-world context. Students focus on the process of defining and solving a problem. They learn how to apply STEM knowledge, skills, and habits of mind to make the world a better place through innovation.
School uses technology effectively - please evaluate and describe
Agree
School uses technology effectively - describe
Students are provided Chromebooks for their online dual credit courses and PBL projects. Zoom is used at the campus for PD training with the other Innovative Academies. Also, students have the opportunity to use Zoom for PBL projects with students at the other Innovative Academies.
School develops and offers valuable Work-Based Experiences and Internships - please evaluate and describe
Neutral
School develops and offers valuable Work-Based Experiences and Internships - describe
Planning this year for developing work-based experiences and internships.
School promotes an effective Advisory Board Make Up and Work - please evaluate and describe
Agree
School promotes an effective Advisory Board Make Up and Work - describe
Advisory board meets monthly to discuss progress and alignment to the blueprint.
School offers effective Student Support and Academic Counseling - please evaluate and describe
Agree
School offers effective Student Support and Academic Counseling - describe
Advisory classes are used for PSAT and SAT prep. Incoming 8th graders who have not passed the TSI participate in a summer boot camp and if needed enrolled in the fall in a TSI prep class. Students struggling are provided after school tutoring or online tutoring using I-Excel.
School employs effective Teacher and Staff Development Plan - please evaluate and describe
Agree
School employs effective Teacher and Staff Development Plan - describe
Instructional coaches to support and train the teachers to create effective structures to facilitate amazing PBL experiences.
School employs effective Dual Credit/AP/IB Policies and Procedures - please evaluate and describe
Agree
School employs effective Dual Credit/AP/IB Policies and Procedures - describe
UT Tyler provides the dual credit courses and textbooks at no cost to the students. Students are given the opportunity to earn up to 42 hours credits/core complete. Current plan for dual credit is the following:
9th grade - 6 hours
10th grade - 12 hours
11th grade - 18 hours
12th grade - 18 hours
12th grade - 9 hours
School effectively implements DC/AP/IB - please evaluate and describe success/challenges with implementation - please evaluate
Agree
School effectively implements DC/AP/IB - please evaluate and describe success/challenges with implementation - describe
UT Tyler provides the dual credit opportunities for the students. The majority of the courses are taught online with a high school facilitator. Currently, the school has limited high school adjunct instructors.
School offers effective Bridge Program(s) - please evaluate and describe
Neutral
School offers effective Bridge Program(s) - describe
The campus only provides a new student orientation for all students. At the end of the 8th grade year, the campus hosts a Bridge Day to share the expectations for the high school.
School offers valuable Internship Opportunities - please evaluate and describe
Neutral
School offers valuable Internship Opportunities - describe
Developing a plan for internship opportunities for next year.
School offers effective Student Capstone Projects - please evaluate and describe
Neutral
School offers effective Student Capstone Projects - describe
Developing a plan for capstone opportunities for next year.
School offers effective Mentoring Program(s) - please evaluate and describe
Neutral
School offers effective Mentoring Program(s) - describe
School offers peer mentor opportunities between secondary and elementary students.
School offers engaging and effective Academic Clubs and Extra-Curricular Activities - please evaluate and describe
Agree
School offers engaging and effective Academic Clubs and Extra-Curricular Activities - describe
Innovation Academy offers various extracurricular activities for students to participate in, such as:
*Odyssey of the Mind
*Student Council
*Yearbook
*Art Club
*Band
*Choir
*Gardening
*National Honor Society
*TEAMS
*Robotics
*Softball/baseball
Describe IHE Partners and level of support including use of facilities

The students are transported to UT Tyler on Fridays to utilize science labs for their dual credit chemistry course. Students have access to use the support facilities.

School provides purposeful and effective Program Pathways (with key courses) - please evaluate and describe
Agree
School provides purposeful and effective Program Pathways (with key courses) - describe

The academy offers the following PLTW STEM programs currently:

  • PLTW Gateway provides engineering and biomedical science curriculum for middle school students that challenges, inspires, and offers schools variety and flexibility. Students get rigorous and relevant experiences through activity-, project-, and problem-based learning. They use industry-leading technology to solve problems while gaining skills in communication, collaboration, critical-thinking, and creativity.
  • PLTW Engineering is our high school engineering program. It is about applying engineering, science, math, and technology to solve complex, open-ended problems in a real-world context. Students focus on the process of defining and solving a problem. They learn how to apply STEM knowledge, skills, and habits of mind to make the world a better place through innovation.
Describe established workforce/industry partnerships and level of support

Designation application states World of Wonder Longview is their partner. The campus director shared this is area for growth and need.

Provide a preliminary rating for Blueprint benchmark 'Mission-Driven Leadership' (TSTEM)
7
Provide a preliminary rating for Blueprint benchmark 'STEM Culture' (TSTEM)
8
Provide a preliminary rating for Blueprint benchmark 'Student Support' (TSTEM)
5
Provide a preliminary rating for Blueprint benchmark 'Teacher Development and Support' (TSTEM)
9
Provide a preliminary rating for Blueprint benchmark 'Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment' (T-STEM)
8
Provide a preliminary rating for Blueprint benchmark 'Strategic Alliances' (TSTEM)
5
Provide a preliminary rating for Blueprint benchmark 'Growth and Sustainability' (TSTEM)
6
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Rating

Program 16-17 Students taking TSI math (#)
15
Program 16-17 Students passing TSI math (#)
8
Program 16-17 Students taking TSI reading (#)
25
Program 16-17 Students passing TSI reading (#)
18