STEM Academy Academics Overview
We provide our students with rigorous academic training. STEM Students must choose an Engineering or Biomedial career pathway in the 9th grade and will take intensive pathway courses throughout their four years in conjunction with the Project Lead the Way curriculum. Students are cohorted by pathway and all core academic classes are taken with one another's pathway peers.
As part of the STEM pathway requirements each student takes four years of math and science. In addition all students have the option to earn honors credit in the majority of their core academic courses.
In addition all required coursework is aligned with University of California A-G Requirements for college preparation.
STEM Academy uses Mastery Grading in order to promote equity and excellence.
What is Mastery Grading?
Mastery Grading measures students’ proficiency in well-defined course objectives on a 4 point scale.
- Mastery Grading allows students to:
- Demonstrate progress towards their expertise in Essential Knowledge & Skills (EKS) through a variety of assignments such as projects, essays and tests
- Align EKS to content standards, Habits of Mind and STEM’s School-wide Learner Outcomes (SLO).
- Receive constructive feedback & revise work to develop a growth mindset
- Be assessed more equitably and transparently
Mastery Grading Scale
3.5 - 4.0
2.6 - 3.4
1.7 - 2.5
1.0 - 1.6
Each course’s gradebook will contain several categories. These categories are determined by the Essential Knowledge and Skills required to show mastery in that course. The Gradebook will also contain categories for the Habit of Accountability and one or more School-Wide Learner Outcomes. Students will be given a variety of assignments in order to show mastery. Each assignment is evaluated on a 4 point scale based on specific criteria explained in a rubric designed by the teacher.
(A sample Parent/Student grade view is provided on the back)
STEM School-Wide Learner Outcomes
STEM Academy Graduated are:
- Self-Directed Learners
- Communicators, Documenters, and Presenters
- Designers, Builders and Testers
- Digitally and Technically Literate Learners
When a student does not turn in an assignment, it will be marked as Incomplete. At the time of the progress report card or final report card, all incompletes will be considered missing assignments (a zero) unless the student has made previous arrangements with the instructor. = Incomplete = Missing
Habit of Accountability
Some assignments also receive a Habit of Accountability score in addition to a EKS score. This score only reflects whether the assignment was turned in on time and completed fully. These scores can not be made up.
Sample Mastery Rubric:
Evidence demonstrates mastery and goes beyond what was taught in class through in-depth inferences and applications.
Evidence demonstrates significant understanding of both simple and complex ideas.
Evidence demonstrates basic understanding. No major errors or omissions in regards to simple details, but limited understanding of more complex ideas / details.
Evidence demonstrates partial understanding or partial knowledge of simple details.
Sample Parent/Student View of Grades:
The overall score at the top is calculated by proportionally averaging the course category scores (EKS’s, Habit of Accountability and others). Each category contributes to the final grade differently according to its weight.