ST1.1: The STEM school/program supports non-traditional student participation through outreach to groups often underrepresented in STEM program areas.
Self-Assessment Score: 3
Our STEAM goal is to increase the number of underrepresented groups based on academic success as well as participation in extended day activities. Our underrepresented groups include our special education students, gifted and talented students, female students and minority male students. Our outreach plan is addressed in our Title One Plan as well as our School Renewal Plan.
Here at Alice Drive Elementary (ADE) our strength is in the number and quality of STEAM aligned field trip experiences we provide for our students during the regular school day. This provides the opportunity for all of our students to participate. We have a number of field trips at every grade level that are aligned to our South Carolina State Standards. We also have a variety of STEAM aligned clubs for our students before and after school. We still have a large number of underrepresented students who do not participate in our clubs and are working to address this weakness by providing more choices and alternate times.
ADE is committed to keeping our families aware of what is taking place at school. We use the traditional paper method but offer a variety of other opportunities for our families to stay connected. Many of our teachers use Google Classroom, email, class Dojo and Remind to keep in contact. Through social media you can find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Our school webpage contains current information on upcoming events and special announcements. With all of the opportunities we have available we continually work to increase our participation by teachers, students and parents. Our faculty challenge is for all staff to join the Twitter World.
Our district offers school choice to families through open enrollment. Alice Drive Elementary (ADE) provides the opportunity for all students, regardless of age, gender, race, or socioeconomic status, to participate in learning through STEAM. Our applications show that our STEAM curriculum is an increasingly relevant factor in the decision families make in choosing Alice Drive. The current population for Alice Drive Elementary consists of 751 students and 197 of those students are open enrollment. We currently have a waiting list for new students. The demographics can be seen in the following chart: ADE Open Enrollment Demographics
Clubs and Field Trips
One way our STEAM program supports all of our students including our underrepresented groups of students is through the variety of clubs we offered outside of the school day. Because not all parents can transport students following participation in an after-school club, we also make some clubs available to students in the morning beginning at drop-off time. We continue to evaluate the effectiveness of the clubs with our underrepresented group in order to grow in this area. A list of ADE’s Club Offerings can be seen in the following chart: ADE Club Offerings
Alice Drive Elementary creates opportunities for all students to participate in outside learning activities during the normal school day as well as extended day. This provides a broader opportunity for many of our underrepresented groups to have an equal opportunity to learn. We not only provide some of the most common field trip experiences but also intentionally plan excursions that will stretch the thinking of our students beyond their everyday culture. As we implement our 5 year plan for STEAM, we become increasingly aware of the need to add more STEAM appropriate activities. We are also more aware of how the most common experiences help our students, especially our younger learners, gain a better understanding through collaborating and community building. A list of ADE’s Field Trip Offerings can be seen in the following chart: ADE Field Trips
Alice Drive Elementary STEAM Lab serves all students in kindergarten through fifth grade. All students go to STEAM lab once every 6 days as part of the related arts rotation. The STEAM Lab facilitator utilizes Project Lead the Way and Inquiry based instruction to plan curriculum and implement the South Carolina College and Career Ready Standards. Students have a STEAM Lab journal for taking notes, recording observations, drawings, etc. All lessons and activities follow the 5 C’s; critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity and community and implement the Engineering Design Process.
Alice Drive Elementary utilizes a wide range of outlets to reach our parents, students and community. All teachers and staff can be contacted through Google Education (G Suite) applications and many teachers utilize Class Dojo, a phone communication service which links a message from one phone to another or apps like Remind. Our school has a website, that is updated regularly, provides information on important upcoming events and daily school activities. The school Facebook page also contains this type of information and provides a broader outlet for the community to respond. You can also find ADE on Twitter and Instagram. Each social media account is managed by a different staff member in order to share various perspectives on several social media outlets. It is our goal to showcase classroom activities through visual representation in order to highlight our students. For our families who do not have access to the internet or social media, we utilize EduLink. This is a phone service that our administrator uses to record a message to send out every Sunday evening which gives important information on school activities for the coming week.
Family Literacy Night, STEAM Night and Parent Workshops
Alice Drive Elementary School values our parents and we provide opportunities throughout the year for them to actively participate with their child at school. These events often times bring in families that would typically not come visit the school. These opportunities allow the STEAM experience to crossover from school to home no matter the child’s background. During the first quarter of school we host grade level Parent Workshops. Each workshop takes place in the morning and offers a community building activity and several hands own engagements to give parents ideas of things they can do at home to help their children think critically and gain a deeper understanding of topics. The students attend the workshop with their parents and they work together through each engagement. These workshops are offered in the morning to accommodate some of our parents who work nights and afternoon shifts and often times would be unable to attend events at the school. We typically have a high turnout. Title I workshops are coordinated by the curriculum coach. Teachers, our school social worker, the literacy coach, and guidance often present. We have two major family nights throughout the year. Family Literacy Night occurs in the fall and provides opportunity for our staff and families to enjoy activities that relate to real world literacy. We have an author come and speak and we host a book fair during this event as well. Last year Melinda Long, a South Carolina native, came and spoke to the children during the day and then with the families that evening. This year we have Sneed Collard, a science writer, scheduled to come. Also, we utilize our Public Library and invite them to come out to encourage families to get a library card. Family STEAM Night occurs in the Winter and is a fun time for families to enjoy STEAM related activities. We partner up with the community and have several companies and organizations attend and provide demonstrations.