Submitted by mary helen.garza on Sat, 10/21/2017 - 18:45
Describe campus/program, goals, and theory of change

Campus Description:  The 2008 academy was the PSJA district's first ECHS, becoming a role model for the subsequent ECHS.  TEA has awarded the campus Exemplary Ratings and Distinction Designations.  Many students have graduated with a high school diploma and an Associate's Degree simultaneously from South Texas College.  The academy provides a rigorous academic program with personalization and individualization to its seven hundred and seventy-five students in grades ninth through twelfth.   

Goals:  The goal of the academy is to become a distinguished blended STEM/ECHS campus.

Theory of Change: 

          To continue administrative and teacher training on Project Based Learning.

          To recruit Advisory Board STEM professionals and businesses to provide more resources, internships, externships, and student/community outreach and recruitment. 

          To increase STEM curriculum and literacy during student advisories and to monitor and evaluate these periods. 

          Increase the number of students graduating with a STEM endorsement and STEM Associate's Degree.

Describe Blueprint Benchmark strengths

1.4.A---Collaboration with Coaches, Centers, Educate Texas to scale successful/best practices.

2.2.C---School-wide professional learning communities with continuous improvement and stakeholder involvement.

4.1.B---Highly qualified teacher recruitment and retention.

4.2.A/B---Data driven professional development plan and model based on student and teacher results and academy goals. 

Describe certifications
Welding Certificate
Computer and Network Specialist Certificate
Describe degrees
Associate of Science Degree in Biology
Associate of Science Degree in Chemistry
Associate of Science Degree in Engineering
Associate of Science Degree in Mathematics
Associate of Science Degree in Computer Science
Associate of Science Degree in Criminal Justice
Associate of Arts Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies
Associate Degree in Nursing
Associate Degree in Science - Interdisciplinary Studies
What areas of interest do you have for Technical Assistance (up to 3 areas, rank in order of importance)?

1.  Networking opportunities to share ideas on internships.

2.  New and innovative technology hardware and software/applications for staff and students.

 

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

1.  Apex software program for TSI, ACT, SAT tutorials.

2.  On-site and virtual visits to model STEM/ECHS campuses.

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

1.  Advisory Board---The academy plans to expand and maintain partnerships with district and community STEM professionals, businesses, and institutions of higher education to provide STEM opportunities for teachers and students.  The administration will collaborate with campus STEM Leadership Team to establish networking relationships/liaisons between school and community. 

2.  Project-Based Learning---The academy will integrate project-based learning training during professional learning community (plc) department, grade level and content planning periods.

3.  Student Advisory Period---Every student is enrolled in an Advisory Period---Titan Time Student Success Class---at the beginning of each day.  A curriculum developed/designed by the College Readiness Counseling Department is used with all classes.  

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 uses the following innovative instructional strategies:
1. Project-based Learning---Through PBL, the academy provides students opportunities to gain knowledge and skills by investigating and responding to authentic, engaging and complex questions, problems, or challenges for an extended period of time.
2. Curriculum instructional frameworks (CIF)---The academy uses CIF to provide guidance in implementing the content standards adopted by the State Board of Education.
3. Instructional Rounds/Learning Walks---The academy uses Instructional Rounds to help them look closely at what is happening in classrooms. After visiting classrooms, administrators/observers engage in non-judgmental conversations about data they acquired and about what was observed.
School uses technology effectively - please evaluate and describe
Agree
School uses technology effectively - describe
Promethean Boards, is a specific brand of interactive whiteboard that allows teachers to project an image from a laptop or a computer, as well as interact with the board through touch or specialized pens, are in all classrooms. Every teacher has their own laptop. They are issued district email addresses. Unless a student has their own, every student is issued an iPad. Students are allowed to bring their own device (BYOD).
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
All students in grades ninth through twelfth participate in internships. During the summer, they acquire hands-on experiences at the Pharr Food Bank, at Pharr City Libraries, at the Life House (facility for SPED twenty-two years and older), and the Pharr Recycling Centers. During the school year, internships are made at Doctors Hospital at Renaissance, in the Technology Department at Central Office, the Pharr Chamber of Commerce, and other STEM-related businesses.
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 has worked hard to recruit STEM career professionals from the community. In the past, the volunteer staff has done the recruitment but this year each Design/Leadership Team member will recruit a STEM business/community partner. The academy will provide the partner MOUs. The partners will assist as Career Day speakers, Science Fair Judges, and Capstone Project panelists. The Advisory Board will meet once in the Fall and once in the Spring.
School offers effective Student Support and Academic Counseling - please evaluate and describe
Strongly Agree
School offers effective Student Support and Academic Counseling - describe
Student Support:
The academy provides a thirty-minute Advisory Period every day. Teachers/advisors discuss student topics of interest. The academy conducts College Readiness workshops. Tutorials are offered before and after school. The Titan Tutors (teachers) and the Cal Pals (peers) provide the tutorials.
Academic Counseling:
Counselors provide individual counseling for students and parents. High school individual graduation plans (IGPs) and Associate Degree plans are discussed. Students are assisted in the Counseling Center, Go Center, and the computer labs.
School employs effective Teacher and Staff Development Plan - please evaluate and describe
Strongly Agree
School employs effective Teacher and Staff Development Plan - describe
The PSJA district conducts effective professional development for all teachers. The academy focuses on Project-based Learning teaching/learning strategies, Unpacking TEKS, and literacy training. The academy teachers participate in workshops at the Region One STEM Center. The high school administration and the Design Team provide "Building Leadership Capacities for AP" training on campus.
School employs effective Dual Credit/AP/IB Policies and Procedures - please evaluate and describe
Strongly Agree
School employs effective Dual Credit/AP/IB Policies and Procedures - describe
The academy adheres to the South Texas College Dual Credit Manual and follows its policies and procedures.
School effectively implements DC/AP/IB - please evaluate and describe success/challenges with implementation - please evaluate
Strongly Agree
School effectively implements DC/AP/IB - please evaluate and describe success/challenges with implementation - describe
The academy maintains a strong partnership with South Texas College for dual credit. The partnership has produced graduates with Associate's Degrees in Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Engineering, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Interdisciplinary Studies, and Science in Interdisciplinary Studies. Students not obtaining Associate's Degrees acquire a significant number of college credit hours.
School offers effective Bridge Program(s) - please evaluate and describe
Strongly Agree
School offers effective Bridge Program(s) - describe
The academy offers STEM Enrichment Camps during the summer for all high school students. It also offers TSI Enrichment Camps for incoming ninth graders and current students needing to pass any area---Reading, Writing, Math---of the TSI. Orientation sessions are held for students and parents.
School offers valuable Internship Opportunities - please evaluate and describe
Agree
School offers valuable Internship Opportunities - describe
All students in grades ninth through twelfth participate in internships. During the summer, they acquire hands-on experiences at the Pharr Food Bank, at Pharr City Libraries, at the Life House (facility for SPED twenty-two years and older), and the Pharr Recycling Centers. During the school year, internships are made at Doctors Hospital at Renaissance, in the Technology Department at Central Office, the Pharr Chamber of Commerce, and other STEM-related businesses.
School offers effective Student Capstone Projects - please evaluate and describe
Strongly Agree
School offers effective Student Capstone Projects - describe
All Seniors are required to enroll in the Career and Technology Education (CTE) Capstone Project elective course---Problems and Solutions I and II. All Seniors present their capstone projects to a panel of judges in April.
School offers effective Mentoring Program(s) - please evaluate and describe
Agree
School offers effective Mentoring Program(s) - describe
Peer mentoring occurs from month to month during the year-long elective course of the Senior Capstone Projects. Students also become Lab assistants in Science and Computer Science labs. All teachers serve as Mentors to students.
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
Academic Clubs/Extra-Curricular Activities:
HOSA-Future Health Professionals National Honor Society National Technical Honor Society Spanish Club Pan American Student Forum (PASF)
UIL Academics Jazz Band Orchestra Anime Club Folkloric
Chess Club Best Buddies Club Library Book Club Robotics Race Walking
Dual Language Advisory Board Student Government Choir Good News Club Student Ambassadors
Journalism Club-Newsletter & Yearbook Business Professionals of America Computer Science Club Cyber Patriots Envirothon PE Leaders
Describe IHE Partners and level of support including use of facilities

South Texas College (STC) in McAllen, Texas is the main IHE for the academy.  The IHE provides an STC Early College High School Coordinator that serves as a liaison between the IHE and the academy.  The STC Dean of Dual Enrollment provides support and assistance in certifying high school staff to teach dual credit courses, professional development and creating/approving the dual credit courses taught at the academy.  Facilities at STC, such as the learning resource center and tutoring center, are available to the academy students.Every summer STC provides classrooms for the academy students to take college courses on their campus.  STC also provides assistance with on-registration, advisement center, and enrollment rosters and reports.      

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

The academy offers the following program pathways:

1.  Endorsements:

 STEM, Public Services, Arts and Humanities, and Multidisciplinary Studies 

2.  Degree Plans:

Associate of Science Degree in Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Mathematics, Computer Science, Criminal Justice
Associate of Arts Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies
Associate Degree in Nursing
Associate Degree in Science - Interdisciplinary Studies  

Describe established workforce/industry partnerships and level of support

The academy has established partnerships with the City of Pharr and the Pharr Chamber of Commerce Manufacturing Programs, Doctors Hospital at Renaissance, PSJA Central Office Risk Management, Technology and Dual Language Departments.  They all provide good and on-going levels of support.

Provide a preliminary rating for Blueprint benchmark 'Target Population' (ECHS)
9
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)
9
Provide a preliminary rating for Blueprint benchmark 'Mission-Driven Leadership' (TSTEM)
8
Provide a preliminary rating for Blueprint benchmark 'STEM Culture' (TSTEM)
9
Provide a preliminary rating for Blueprint benchmark 'Student Support' (TSTEM)
9
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)
9
Provide a preliminary rating for Blueprint benchmark 'Growth and Sustainability' (TSTEM)
9
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Rating

Program 16-17 SAT Average (#)
1070
Program 16-17 ACT Average (#)
19
Program 16-17 AP Course Credit Awarded (# hours)
877
Program 16-17 DC Course Credit Awarded (# hours)
14326
Program 16-17 Students taking TSI math (#)
394
Program 16-17 Students passing TSI math (#)
358
Program 16-17 Students taking TSI reading (#)
518
Program 16-17 Students passing TSI reading (#)
487