Describe campus/program, goals, and theory of change

Campus Description:

     IDEA College Preparatory San Juan T-STEM Academy is a public charter school STEM academy since 2009.  One hundred percent of their Seniors matriculate in               colleges and universities.  The academy is nationally ranked as #140.  Named #10 most challenging school by the Washington Post, ranked #26 in Texas High Schools and #49 in charter high schools.

2016-2017 STEM Goals:

     1.2.C  Develops and demonstrates support from an Advisory Board

     3.3.B  5th/6th and 8th/9th Orientation and Summer Bridge

     4.3.A  Provides for flexibility in instructional practices

     5.2.G  Develops 6th-12th students portfolios of interest in STEM Capstone Projects and STEM Internships

Theory of Change:

     The academy will focus on creating opportunities for middle school and high school students to interact and participate in STEM-related activities and events.  The academy will host a STEM Science Fair this year, an activity they have not provided for years. 

Describe Blueprint Benchmark strengths

The academy's strong Blueprint Benchmarks include:

1.  Benchmark One---data driven instruction.  The academy is a model for data driven decision-making for instruction.  The district holds weekly data conversations, collaboration meetings, track students, and convene in academy/district based assessment meetings.

2.  Benchmark Four---common planning and collaboration.  The academy utilizes strategic use of time to hold content leader meetings,  professional learning communities, and webinars every two weeks.  The district schedules district content leaders meetings and course collaboration days.  Administrators personalize professional development for their campuses.

Describe certifications
N/A
Describe degrees
N/A
What areas of interest do you have for Technical Assistance (up to 3 areas, rank in order of importance)?

The academy's areas of interest for technical assistance:

1.  Establishing a competent, active, engaged Advisory Board.

2.  Designing an effective Seniors Capstone Project Program

3.  Building relationships with STEM business/community professionals

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

The challenges include:

1.  Time management to meet with Design/Leadership Team because of conflicting meetings with content leaders meetings, collaboration meetings, district data decision making meetings, etc.  The Principal in Residence/STEM Coordinator this year drafted a semester calendar for Design Team meetings.

2.  Getting community/business STEM partners to acquire buy-in into the academy's STEM program.

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
The academy uses the following innovative instructional strategies:
1. Project Based Learning (PBL)---in all classes with individual Coach to rate the lesson delivery.
2. Project Lead the Way---Courses offered are: 9th Grade---Introduction to Engineering Design; 10th Grade---Principles of Engineering; 11th Grade---AP Physics I; and 12th Grade---AP Biology, AP Calculus, and AP Statistics.
3. Instructional Rounds---Administrative team makes these rounds every two weeks.
4. Technology---Content leaders use technology for instructional lessons.
School uses technology effectively - please evaluate and describe
Agree
School uses technology effectively - describe
Teachers use sixteen Computers on Wheels (COWs) with thirty laptops each on a rotation basis or as needed. The academy has two Computer Labs with desk top computers for student use. Teachers are issued their own laptop computer, a district issued cell phone, and a doc camera. Every classroom has a digital projector and speakers. Students use TI N-Spire calculators in their Math classes.
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 IDEA students are required to complete one hundred and twenty-five community service hours cumulative in grades ninth through twelfth and by the time they graduate. Students volunteer in businesses that are high interest to them for future careers. The academy recognizes that they need to bring more structure to this program to qualify those volunteer hours as 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
The administration is using the Educate Texas Advisory Board Handbook to assemble a strong STEM Board. It is using the templates in the Handbook to customize their own Handbook. Some STEM-related community professionals signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with the academy last year and they will be the first to be contacted to serve on this year's Board. The board members will be asked to be judges in their Science Fair and speakers during their Career Fair.
School offers effective Student Support and Academic Counseling - please evaluate and describe
Strongly Agree
School offers effective Student Support and Academic Counseling - describe
There are three Counselors on campus who provide academic counseling. They present during the 5th to 6th and 8th to 9th grade orientations. They present in all AP classes. Counselors are assigned to some students, they are in charge of the student community service hours, and plan/coordinate all field lessons.
Student support is provided through peer mediations, and after school, lunch, and Saturday tutorials. The academy has created a "Homework Center" until 5:30 p.m. and sponsor 21st Century after school activities.
School employs effective Teacher and Staff Development Plan - please evaluate and describe
Strongly Agree
School employs effective Teacher and Staff Development Plan - describe
The IDEA district provides its own professional development to its teachers. In turn, each IDEA Campus provides its own professional development for its teachers. In addition to to all that training, the teachers participate in TSI training, Princeton Review training, ACT training, National Math and Science Institute (NMSI) training, AP training, CAST training in Houston, and AVID training during the summer. Also, teachers are encouraged to attend professional development in their content areas during the summer.
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 has policies and procedures for the following:
1. Has no dual credit enrollment policy for its students.
2. Has "AP for All" program, a very strong AP curriculum program for its students.
3. Has no IB policies/procedures in place.
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 has policies and procedures for the following:
1. Has a dual credit enrollment policy for its students, even though they have an MOU with UTRGV.
2. Has "AP for All" program (that starts in the ninth grade), a very strong AP curriculum program for its students.
3. Has no IB policies/procedures in place.
School offers effective Bridge Program(s) - please evaluate and describe
Agree
School offers effective Bridge Program(s) - describe
The academy holds 5th to 6th grade Bridge Camps during the summer. It also held a Saturday "Culture Camp" for sixth and seventh graders on October 14, 2017. The 8th to 9th grade Bridge Camps were also held during the summer. The main topics of discussion are centered around the curriculum IDEA offers and improving attendance.
School offers valuable Internship Opportunities - please evaluate and describe
Agree
School offers valuable Internship Opportunities - describe
All IDEA students are required to complete one hundred and twenty-five community service hours cumulative in grades ninth through twelfth and by the time they graduate. Students volunteer in businesses that are high interest to them for future careers. The academy recognizes that they need to bring more structure to this program to qualify those volunteer hours as work-based experiences and internships.
School offers effective Student Capstone Projects - please evaluate and describe
Agree
School offers effective Student Capstone Projects - describe
One person has been placed in charge of Senior Capstone Projects this academic year. The administration will address the gaps in getting all Seniors to present and defend their projects. Last year the academy staff started late in coordinating the Senior projects but this year they already have a plan and timeline in place. This year will have a larger number of participants than last year.
School offers effective Mentoring Program(s) - please evaluate and describe
Agree
School offers effective Mentoring Program(s) - describe
1. Teachers---The academy has a "Buddy System" in place for new teachers. The pairings are strategically planned by the administration. Events and dinners are scheduled to ensure that there is communication between teachers.
2. Students---Mentoring is held between administrators and students and peers and students to keep at risk students on track. The academy utilizes a scope and sequence for students being mentored. Staff offers awareness to parents at school activities and events.
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
The following clubs and extra-curricular activities are offered at IDEA San Juan:
HESTEC Art Club Art National Honor Society Photography Club
Driver's Education National Honor Society Cooking Club Sports Club
Community Service Club National Junior Honor Society Yearbook Crafts 4 Love
Homework Club Student Council Gardening Club
STEM Club Chess Club Book club
Describe IHE Partners and level of support including use of facilities

Even though the IDEA district has a blanket Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of Texas Rio Grande (UTRGV), it is not utilized for dual credit purposes.

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

Project Lead the Way

     9th Grade---Introduction to Engineering Design

     10th Grade---Principles of Engineering

     11th Grade---AP Physics I

     12th Grade---AP Biology, AP Calculus, and AP Statistics

Computer Science

     10th Grade---Computer Science I

     11th Grade---Computer Science II

     12th Grade---AP Computer Science Principles

Describe established workforce/industry partnerships and level of support

The academy has very few established STEM partnerships.  The ones that have signed an MOU with the academy do participate in school events such as Career Day, College Nights, and STEM Community Night.

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

Program 16-17 ACT Average (#)
21
Program 16-17 DC Course Credit Awarded (# hours)
0
Program 16-17 Students taking TSI math (#)
88
Program 16-17 Students passing TSI math (#)
79
Program 16-17 Students taking TSI reading (#)
88
Program 16-17 Students passing TSI reading (#)
80