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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
10th Grade---Computer Science I
11th Grade---Computer Science II
12th Grade---AP Computer Science Principles
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.