Submitted by mary helen.garza on Sun, 11/05/2017 - 23:01
Describe campus/program, goals, and theory of change

Campus Description:

Harmony Public Schools are high performing K-12 public charter schools in Texas that focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics to provide opportunities for under served communities.

STEM Goals:

2.1.E  Celebrates high-quality student work

2.3.A-E  Prepares students who graduate for post secondary coursework and careers in STEM 

5.1.C-F  Develops an assessment and intervention plan to address gaps in student achievement and areas for extension.

5.2.D  Increase the number of eighth graders taking Algebra I.

Theory of Change:

The academy has scheduled Design Team weekly meetings on A days at the same time to maximize teacher participation.  This has shown improvement in teacher buy-in into STEM. 

Describe Blueprint Benchmark strengths

STEM Blueprint Benchmark strengths include:

1.  4.1.A---Teacher selection/retention---The academy pays its teachers more than the local school districts.  The teacher retention is high. 

2.  1.2.C---Advisory Board---The academy has successfully assembled a strong Advisory Board.  Joining the Laredo Chamber of Commerce has helped to acquire STEM-related professionals.  Also, having a Community Outreach Director to recruit business partners has been very effective.

3.  2.3.A---College Readiness---The academy provides the curriculum and culture for post secondary success.

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 include:

1.  Drawing tablets and cameras are needed for their media pathway.

2.  TI N-Spires calculator sets are needed in Math classrooms.

3.  Chromebooks for their one-to-one computer initiative are needed.

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

The academy requests that their STEM Coach schedules her site visits on their Design/Leadership Team meeting days to share best practices and to provide feedback.

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

Some the challenges include:

1.  Although scheduling Design Team meetings in the past was a challenge, in the first two months of this academic year, the administration seems to be addressing issues that have prevented them from meeting regularly.  Some weeks contain more activities and events than others so the academy makes sure the meetings are held as scheduled for the year.

2.  Getting the teachers with Masters Degrees on campus to get certified to teach college credit courses has been a challenge.  This year those Adjunct instructors are providing more dual credit opportunities for the students at Harmony Laredo.   

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 utilizes the following innovative instructional strategies:
1. Project Based Learning (PBL)---These strategies are embedded into the curriculum.
2. Project Lead the Way (PLTW)---The Biomedical and Engineering courses are offered in grades 9th through 12th.
3. Danielson Model---This strategy is used for observation and feedback by peers and administration.
4. Plus 5---Five extra hours of Math and English Language Arts per week in Computer Labs. Software used include ALEKS, MyOn, and No Red Ink.
School uses technology effectively - please evaluate and describe
Strongly Agree
School uses technology effectively - describe
Students are not allowed to bring their own devices (BYOD). There is no public Wifi but the academy does provide Guest WIfi.
1. Teachers---All teachers have a SMART Board, assigned laptops, digital projectors, and mimeopads.
2. Students---Two computer labs are available to all students. The academy has ten Computers on Wheels (COWs)--four for Math, four for English Language Arts, one for Social Studies, and one for Science. Each of the two Computer Labs have forty desk top computers 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
Students are currently experiencing hands-on work-based internships in the following businesses:
1. International Bank of Commerce Bank---This business partner offers Harmony Laredo students the opportunity to job shadow and intern in their bank. The bank will pay the interns who are placed there.
2. Some students are doing internships in a Physical Therapy facility.
3. Some students are doing internships in an IT company in Laredo.
School promotes an effective Advisory Board Make Up and Work - please evaluate and describe
Strongly Agree
School promotes an effective Advisory Board Make Up and Work - describe
Strategic alliances, such as business/community partners who provide Advisory Board members to the academy, furnish students with field experience opportunities. The academy has an active and engaged Board who meets once in the Fall and once in the Spring. The Board is comprised of fifteen members. All Board members have Career and Technology Education (CTE) related careers such as in: Engineering, Information Technology/Media, Biomedical Science, and Law Enforcement. These Board members are part of Career Day. They are invited to classes to participate in mini-lessons. They provide internships and externships.
School offers effective Student Support and Academic Counseling - please evaluate and describe
Agree
School offers effective Student Support and Academic Counseling - describe
The three counselors in the academy offer one-to-one academic counseling to students and parents. One Counselor is assigned to ninth grade, one Counselor is assigned to tenth and eleventh grades and one Counselor is assigned to twelfth grade. They present to classes during Advisory Periods. All three Counselors meet with their students twice a year minimally.
School employs effective Teacher and Staff Development Plan - please evaluate and describe
Agree
School employs effective Teacher and Staff Development Plan - describe
The Harmony district Specialist provide comprehensive training for all of its teachers. Academies are clustered to meet minimally three times per year to participate in professional development activities. Teachers on campus work collaboratively in Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) with department heads. Teachers can acquire CPE hours by viewing webinars in their content or on current teaching trends.
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
1. The academy does not have an IB policy or procedures.
2. It does have an Advanced Placement (AP) Committee that consists of AP teachers who ensure that the state and district AP policy and procedures are adhered to.
3. It does have an Dual Credit (DC) Committee that consists of dual credit teachers who ensure that the state, district, and university's dual credit policy and procedures are adhered to.
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
1. The academy does not implement IB.
2. The academy does have an Advanced Placement program and offers the following courses: AP Human Geography, AP Biology, AP chemistry, AP Spanish Language, AP U. S. History and AP World History.
3. The academy does have an Dual Credit (DC) on-line, off campus, and on campus program. The academy strives to increase the number of TSI eligible students to take college credit courses. They have an MOU with Lone Star College for on-line courses , MOUs with Texas A & M International University (TAMIU) and Laredo Community College (LCC) for on campus courses, and an MOU with UT/Permian Basin for on-line courses.
School offers effective Bridge Program(s) - please evaluate and describe
Disagree
School offers effective Bridge Program(s) - describe
The academy hosted a two-week Media pathway Summer Camp during the month of June, 2017. It was scheduled for eight a.m. to twelve noon. Students from 5th to 6th and 8th to 9th grades and parents attended an orientation on school culture and school expectations. The academy will plan and coordinate a stronger Summer Bridge Program for next summer to increase the number of students participating.
School offers valuable Internship Opportunities - please evaluate and describe
Disagree
School offers valuable Internship Opportunities - describe
Students are currently experiencing hands-on work-based internships in the following businesses:
1. International Bank of Commerce Bank---This business partner offers Harmony Laredo students the opportunity to job shadow and intern in their bank. The bank will pay the interns who are placed there.
2. Some students are doing internships in a Physical Therapy facility.
3. Some students are doing internships in an IT company in Laredo.
The academy feels that their student internship program can be better planned and executed so that students benefit from hands-on learning experiences.
School offers effective Student Capstone Projects - please evaluate and describe
Strongly Agree
School offers effective Student Capstone Projects - describe
Senior Capstone Projects are required from all graduating Seniors. The academy offers the CTE capstone project elective "Problems & Solutions I & II", AVID, Project Lead the Way, and the utilize the Educate Texas Capstone Project Handbook to assist their student in meeting this requirement.
School offers effective Mentoring Program(s) - please evaluate and describe
Agree
School offers effective Mentoring Program(s) - describe
Harmony Laredo offers its student and teachers a mentoring program. The Harmony district designed a very comprehensive teacher mentoring Handbook to assign new teachers to a role model teacher and administrators. The teachers meet regularly. The experienced teacher offers positive feedback to the new teachers after observations. Every meeting is documented. It is a very successful program. Students are monitored by teachers, Counselors, and administrators who meet regularly with them to discuss grades, attendance, and behavior.
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 provides the following engaging clubs and extra-curricular activities:
Robotics Club Student Council University Tours
Solar Car Club Art Club Sports---Cross Country
Math Counts National Honor Society
Science Fair Leadership Club
Journalism Club Region 1 Student by Student Conference
Describe IHE Partners and level of support including use of facilities

 The academy has an Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Lone Star College for on-line courses , MOUs with Texas A & M International University (TAMIU) and Laredo Community College (LCC) for on campus courses, and an MOU with the University of Texas/Permian Basin (UTPB) for on-line courses. The academy students use the TAMIU and LCC facilities.

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 provides the following effective program pathways:

Project Lead the Way Engineering

Project Lead the Way Biomedical

Law Enforcement

IT/Media

Robotics

Describe established workforce/industry partnerships and level of support

Community and business strategic alliances provide students with field experience opportunities.  The academy will increase the number of partnerships to better provide students with hands-on experiences and allow students to complete their community service hours.  One partner, IBC Bank, provides the academy with good support by accepting students to job shadow in their facility.  Some Advisory Board members are from workforce/industry businesses. 

 

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)
8
Provide a preliminary rating for Blueprint benchmark 'Strategic Alliances' (TSTEM)
9
Provide a preliminary rating for Blueprint benchmark 'Growth and Sustainability' (TSTEM)
8
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Rating

Program 16-17 SAT Average (#)
1011
Program 16-17 AP Course Credit Awarded (# hours)
192
Program 16-17 DC Course Credit Awarded (# hours)
243
Program 16-17 Students taking TSI math (#)
193
Program 16-17 Students passing TSI math (#)
35
Program 16-17 Students taking TSI reading (#)
254
Program 16-17 Students passing TSI reading (#)
78