ST1.8: STEM learning outcomes demonstrate students’ STEM literacy necessary for the next level of STEM learning for post-secondary and workforce readiness.
STEM literacy is displayed in our student’s ability to apply what they have learned about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math to understand real-world problems and to innovate with others to solve them. A STEM literate person considers how STEM can improve the social, cultural, economic, and environmental conditions of their local and global communities. The STEM literacy that students learn will allow them to build a firm foundation and increase their skills as they move to our feeder high schools. Data that is collected to show our growth and achievement in STEM literacy comes from the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP), a KAP (Knowledge, Attitudes, Perceptions) STEM survey, the AdvancED Student Engagement Survey, and South Carolina State assessments. We obtain our STEM Core Competencies from the ISTE standards.The school issues the NWEA Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessments in the fall, winter, and spring each year in the area of reading and math. Data from the MAP assessments is used to inform our instructional practices in the classroom and set goals for learning. From the Fall of 2018 to the Spring of 2019, all three of our grade levels demonstrated growth in their mathematical thinking.
The 2018-2019 South Carolina School Report Card data shows our school received an overall rating of “Average”. “ Average” indicates that our school performance meets the criteria to ensure all of our students meet the Profile of the SC Graduate. This ranking comes in large part from the gains we have made in the indicator of “Student Progress”. Our overall percentage points in the indicator increased to 49.5% for the 2018-2019 school year from 23.5% in 2017-2018. This indicator determines how students are growing or improving academically in English Language Arts and Math and how the lowest performing 20% of students in a school are growing academically. The indicator contains two progress components. In the component of “All Students” we increased to 44% for the 2018-2019 school year from 23.5% in 2017-2018. In the component of “Lowest Performing 20% of Students” we increased to 55% for the 2018-2019 school year from 23.6% in 2017-2018.
To better prepare students for post-secondary and workforce readiness, we have increased the number of students taking math, ELA, and technology courses for high school credit in the 7th and 8th grades. In 2016-2017, only 8% of our 7th and 8th grade students were enrolled in classes for high school credit, compared to 69% of our 7th and 8th grade students this academic year as shown in this chart. During the 2019-2020 school year, all of our 7th grade students will receive a high school half-credit upon successful completion of our Fundamentals of Computer Science 1 course. They will receive another half-credit in their 8th grade year upon completion of Fundamentals of Computer Science 2. 8th grade students may also receive high school credit for successful completion of our Algebra 1 and English 1 courses. Providing students with the opportunity to earn high school credit in STEM courses as a middle school student will allow students the opportunity to take higher level STEM courses as a high school student.
The Bates STEM KAP student survey was first administered in the Fall of 2018 to collect perceptive data from students regarding their knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions about STEM. Students answered questions about their confidence and attitudes toward STEM subjects and 21st century learning, as well as their attitudes toward STEM career areas, their performance expectations for themselves in the next year, whether or not they have plans to attend post-secondary school, and whether or not they know adults who work in STEM fields. The survey was again issued in the Spring of 2019. Pre and Post survey comparison for the 2018-2019 school year show that in all three grade levels students feel their STEM knowledge increased. Most dramatically was the 6th grade increase. 62% of the 6th grade students felt that they were generally knowledgeable or very knowledgeable of STEM in the pre-survey. This increased to 92% in the post-survey. The percent of 7th and 8th graders that felt that they were generally knowledgeable or very knowledgeable of STEM increased from the pre-survey to post-survey an average of 9.4%. The percentage of students who felt their overall attitudes toward STEM was generally positive or very positive stayed relatively the same. With slight percentage increases in the 7th and 8th grades. The percentage of students that stated they perceived STEM as fascinating, exciting, or appealing, showed a drop in our 6th grade students but a gain from 64.1% to 75/1% of our 8th graders. Our 8th grade students participated in a physics outreach program in which a physics professor from a local college came bi-monthly to conduct hands-on lessons. The percentage of 8th graders who answered “yes” to the pre-survey question of “In the future, do you plan to take advanced classes in science?” increased from 38.1% to 52%. The percentage of 8th grade students who answered that they are interested or very interested in the subject of physics or a future physics occupation increased from 31.2% to 42%.
This Student Engagement Profile presents key findings from our school’s AdvancED Student Engagement Survey that is issued in the Spring of each year beginning in 2018. The quality of student engagement comprises three key domains. The first is behavioral engagement which measures observable actions or participation while at school exhibited by a student’s positive conduct, effort, and participation. The second is cognitive engagement which includes a student’s investment in school and learning. The third is emotional engagement which includes a student’s feelings toward school, learning, teachers, and peers. The results for 2018-2019 for “Student Level of Engagement in School” increased from 57.8% for the 2017-2018 school year to 68.3%. We also experienced gains in all three domains of student engagement. The Behavioral Domain increased from 67.5% for 2017-2018 to 71.4% for 2018-2019. The Cognitive Domain scores increased from 46.9% for 2017-2018 to 65.1% for 2018-2019. The Emotional Domain increased from 59.1% for 2017-2018 to 68.3% for 2018-2019.
At Bates, the Career Specialists/Career Readiness is tasked with exposing our students to career exploration through the 16 Career Clusters. This takes the form of career assessments, structured field studies, classroom speakers, and Career Days. The student body also participates in a Job Shadow Day every February. Each grade level takes part in some sort of career assessment and the 8th class will complete an individual graduate plan (IGP) before they enter their ninth grade year.
All of our programs and analysis of our data has led to making great gains on our South Carolina School Report Card Student Progress rating, but are working hard to see gains in the section of Academic Performance. According to the “Guide to the 2018 S.C. School Report Cards”, “If the Student Progress Rating is high but the Academic Achievement Rating is low, the school is doing a good job growing students but students are not, on average, meeting state standards.” We will continue to strive for our students to show growth and obtain proficiency on our state standards.