Describe campus/program, goals, and theory of change

Campus Description:

The academy is a blended model of STEM and ECHS.  It is a ninth-twelfth grade TEA Designated academy since 2008.  It is a school-within-a-school model with an enrollment of four hundred and fifty-six high school students.

Goals:

2.3.B  College Readiness-The academy strives to increase the number of students who are college ready and/or are graduating with an Associate's Degree.

4.1.A  Highly Qualified Faculty-The academy recruits highly motivated teachers who are willing to implement innovative STEM programs and are willing to address instruction differently.

Theory of Change:

The academy continues to strengthen their Project-Based Learning (PBL) culture throughout the Academy, utilizing more PBL in all classrooms, and increasing cross-curricular collaboration.

Describe Blueprint Benchmark strengths

2.3.F---Systematic/tiered support to ensure all students graduate with 12-30 college credits. 

The academy has a strong MOU with South Texas College that enables students to acquire college credit hours.

5.4.A---Utilizes STEM-integrated context-based problem solving with the natural use of current technologies.

The academy offers a variety of technology for successful instruction.

6.3.A/C---Higher education partnerships with Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) for dual credit college going culture.

The academy has a strong MOU with South Texas College that enables students to experience college opportunities.

Describe certifications
Certifications Awarded--
Certified Nurse Assistant (CAN)
Welding
Serve Safe Certificate (Food Services)
Describe degrees
Associate Degree Pathways---
Interdisciplinary Studies
Math
Computer Science
Biology
Physics
Chemistry
What areas of interest do you have for Technical Assistance (up to 3 areas, rank in order of importance)?

1.  6.2.C---Curriculum focused business/community partnerships to provide experiences for teachers and students.

2.  1.2.C---Assembles and develops a strong Advisory Board

3.  5.2.G---Develops student portfolios in Internship and Capstone Project focused in the state's STEM-related economic development clusters.

What tools or resources would be valuable to your campus to support your implementation of the blueprint?

Educate Texas is a valuable resource to the academy in the support that is provided to implement the Blueprint.  The academy believes the following resources would be helpful:  1.  More professional development from Educate Texas in the areas of Project-Based Learning;  2.  A plan/system of acquiring business partnerships for student internships and teacher externships;  and 3.  Coordinating site visits to model STEM/ECHS academies for networking.   

What have been your challenges and how have you addressed them?

The most pressing challenge the academy has faced is the School-Within-a-School (SWS) school design.  The faculty works hard to create and strengthen a STEM culture.  They set high expectations for all their students and daily incorporate innovative programs and technology in their instruction.  They promote a strong college culture and counsel their students in college opportunities.  All teachers integrate TSI Prep into their curriculum.  This has been successful in increasing the number of students who are TSI ready.  

School uses Innovative Instructional Strategies (i.e. PBL, CIF, PLTW, Rounds, New Tech) - please evaluate and describe
Agree
School uses Innovative Instructional Strategies (i.e. PBL, CIF, PLTW, Rounds, New Tech) - describe
The academy implements the following innovative instructional strategies:
1. Project-Based Learning---The academy continues to strengthen their Project-Based Learning (PBL) culture throughout the Academy, utilizing more PBL in all classrooms, and increasing cross-curricular PBL collaboration.
2. Curriculum Instructional Frameworks (CIF)---The academy utilizes the curriculum frameworks that provide guidance for implementing the standards adopted by the State Board of Education.
The academy is approximately sixty percent digital. It just purchased Chrome Book Cards. Seventy-five percent of students have either a Chrome Book or an iPad.
School uses technology effectively - please evaluate and describe
Strongly Agree
School uses technology effectively - describe
The academy utilizes seven Computers on Wheels (COWs) for classroom instruction. Each COW consists of thirty laptops. Every student in the district has a district email. They may bring their own device (BYOD) to get into google classroom and for instructional purposes. Teachers use the digital projectors in all the classroom. They have all been assigned their own laptops. The academy offers four Smart Boards for classroom rotations as needed. The district has placed WIFI in public places, such as parks, for student use.
School develops and offers valuable Work-Based Experiences and Internships - please evaluate and describe
Agree
School develops and offers valuable Work-Based Experiences and Internships - describe
The academy offers a Career & Technology Education Capstone Project elective course---Problems & Solutions I and II---for half credit (one semester) and full credit (two semesters). It is TEA approved with its own course number. This course requires that students obtain a job shadowing contract with a business in their career interests. These work-based experiences provide students valuable career exposure.
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
The academy works diligently to recruit STEM community leaders and business partners as STEM Board members. Their geographic location along the Texas/Mexico border challenges them in their recruitment. They plan to host a Fall STEM Advisory Board Meeting and a Spring STEM Advisory Board Meeting.
School offers effective Student Support and Academic Counseling - please evaluate and describe
Strongly Agree
School offers effective Student Support and Academic Counseling - describe
Academic counseling includes individual student counseling , creating individual graduation plans (IGPs) with each high school student, monitoring student credits and grades, and having conferences with students and parents.
Student support includes school-wide mentoring program, tutoring, and tracking/following students in classes they are taking and classes they need. The academy offers after school tutorials on Mondays through Thursdays and a Go Center for Apply Texas. South Texas College staff offers advising and counseling and Spring registration opportunities on the Valley View campus.
School employs effective Teacher and Staff Development Plan - please evaluate and describe
Agree
School employs effective Teacher and Staff Development Plan - describe
Teachers participate in all effective and purposeful district professional development in their core areas. They attend local and state workshops and conferences. They participate in training at the Region One Education Center. This year teachers attended the Hispanic Engineering, Science, and Technology (HESTEC) Teacher Education Day at UTRGV. The academy paid a fee for their teachers to form a cohort with Megabyte for professional development.
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
The academy does not employ an IB policy. It employs a limited AP policy and follows the district procedures for it. The academy has strong policy/procedures in dual credit. South Texas College has become more rigid about their dual credit policy. Freshmen start taking dual credit courses in the second semester of their Freshman year. Sophomores cannot take more than four classes per year. South Texas College requires that all students pass TSI Reading and Writing to take dual credit courses. It also requires students pass TSI Math for Math dual credit courses.
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
The academy does not employ an IB program. It employs a limited AP program and follows the district procedures for it. The academy has a strong dual credit program with South Texas College. Freshmen start taking dual credit courses in the second semester of their Freshman year. Sophomores cannot take more than four classes per year. South Texas College requires that all students pass TSI Reading and Writing to take dual credit courses. It also requires students pass TSI Math for Math dual credit courses. South Texas College professors offer dual credit courses at the Valley View campus. Valley View offers teachers with Masters Degrees the opportunity to become dual credit Adjunct Instructors on campus.
School offers effective Bridge Program(s) - please evaluate and describe
Strongly Agree
School offers effective Bridge Program(s) - describe
The academy offered a full-day Bridge Program from June 12th to June 16th. Two TSI Camps---one in Reading and one in Writing---were offered. They also planned and executed many STEM-related project-based learning activities during the week. TSI testing was administered at the end of the camps. Thirty-eight out of one hundred and twenty-five participants passed both Reading and Writing exams. The camps had ninety percent attendance.
School offers valuable Internship Opportunities - please evaluate and describe
Agree
School offers valuable Internship Opportunities - describe
Valley View high school students participate in few internships. The academy offers a Career & Technology Education Capstone Project elective course---Problems & Solutions I and II---for half credit (one semester) and full credit (two semesters). It is TEA approved with its own course number. This course requires that students obtain a job shadowing contract with a business in their career interests. These work-based experiences provide students valuable career exposure.
School offers effective Student Capstone Projects - please evaluate and describe
Strongly Agree
School offers effective Student Capstone Projects - describe
The academy offers a Career & Technology Education Capstone Project elective course---Problems & Solutions I and II---for half credit (one semester) and full credit (two semesters). It is TEA approved with its own course number. This course requires that students obtain a job shadowing contract with a business in their career interests. These work-based experiences provide students valuable career exposure.
School offers effective Mentoring Program(s) - please evaluate and describe
Agree
School offers effective Mentoring Program(s) - describe
The Principal, Assistant Principals, and Counselors mentor assigned students individually. Students, such as retesters, discipline and attendance problems, at risk of failing or failing, and special populations, are targeted to be mentored. The targeted students change every six weeks.
School offers engaging and effective Academic Clubs and Extra-Curricular Activities - please evaluate and describe
Strongly Agree
School offers engaging and effective Academic Clubs and Extra-Curricular Activities - describe
The academy offers the following engaging, effective, and active academic clubs and extra-curricular activities:
Premed Society Club Number Sense UIL
Robotics Club Fellowship of Christian Athletes
Environment Awareness Club Community Seervice
Chess Club
GEMS
Describe IHE Partners and level of support including use of facilities

South Texas College (STC)---Valley View students primarily take courses at STC.  The academy shares data and addresses student needs with STC faculty.

University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV)---The academy is working to put this MOU into effect.

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

Associate Degree Pathways---

     Interdisciplinary Studies, Math, Computer Science, Biology, Physics, Chemistry

Key Courses---

     Dual Credit:  

     Art 1301, Anthropology 2301, Biology 1406, 1407, 1408, 1409, 2401, 2428, Chemistry 1411, 1412, 2423, 2425, COSC 1301, 1337, 1436, 2330, 2425, 2436, CPMT 1403, 1404, 1407, 1411, Economics 2301, English 1301, 1302, ENGR 1201, 1304, 2301, 2302, 2405, 2406, Government 2305, 2306, History 1301, 1302, HITT 1305, Math 1414, 2412, 2413, 2414, 2415, MDCA 1166, 1205, 1321, 1343, 1409, Music 1306, Physics 1401, 1402, 2425, 2426, Psychology 2301, Sociology 1301, Speech 1311.

AP:

     Biology II, English III, English IV, Statistics, U. S. History

Describe established workforce/industry partnerships and level of support

The academy has established some workforce/industry partnerships from both the private and public sector.  The fields of these partnerships include medicine, technology, education, and accounting.  The partnerships provide job shadowing opportunities.   

Provide a preliminary rating for Blueprint benchmark 'Target Population' (ECHS)
8
Provide a preliminary rating for Blueprint benchmark 'Partnership Agreement' (ECHS)
9
Provide a preliminary rating for Blueprint benchmark 'Leadership Initiatives' (ECHS)
8
Provide a preliminary rating for Blueprint benchmark 'Curriculum and Support' (ECHS)
8
Provide a preliminary rating for Blueprint benchmark 'Academic Rigor and Readiness' (ECHS)
9
Provide a preliminary rating for Blueprint benchmark 'School Design' (ECHS)
8
Provide a preliminary rating for Blueprint benchmark 'Mission-Driven Leadership' (TSTEM)
8
Provide a preliminary rating for Blueprint benchmark 'STEM Culture' (TSTEM)
8
Provide a preliminary rating for Blueprint benchmark 'Student Support' (TSTEM)
8
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)
9
Provide a preliminary rating for Blueprint benchmark 'Strategic Alliances' (TSTEM)
7
Provide a preliminary rating for Blueprint benchmark 'Growth and Sustainability' (TSTEM)
8
chart image

Rating

Program 16-17 SAT Average (#)
0
Program 16-17 ACT Average (#)
19
Program 16-17 AP Course Credit Awarded (# hours)
1200
Program 16-17 DC Course Credit Awarded (# hours)
4034
Program 16-17 Students taking TSI math (#)
620
Program 16-17 Students passing TSI math (#)
119
Program 16-17 Students taking TSI reading (#)
355
Program 16-17 Students passing TSI reading (#)
124