School Accountability Report Card

STEM3 Academy
School Accountability Report Card
Reported For School Year 2015-16 (estimated)
Published During 2015-2016

 School Information
School Name STEM3 Academy
Director Dr. Ellis Crasnow
Street 6455 Coldwater Canyon Ave
City, State, Zip Valley Glen, CA 91606
Phone Number (818) 623-6386
Fax Number (818) 623-6387
CDS Code 19 64733 0115824

SCHOOL DESCRIPTION

STEM³ Academy serves students with social and learning differences who are bright and have a passion for STEM-related fields.  Students in this program are typically challenged with one or more of the following diagnoses: high functioning autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, pervasive developmental disorder, nonverbal and specific learning disabilities.  Students range in cognitive ability from average to gifted. STEM³ Academy’s programs are highly structured with a varied curriculum that is designed to meet each student’s individual needs. Educational programming is determined by grade level, the individualized education plan, framework in core content areas and well-researched methodology.  A unique aspect of the STEM³  Academy curriculum is the focus on essential skills.  Due to the atypical social/emotional development of the student population, social facilitation is necessary for the students to maximize their full potential.

 

OPPORTUNITIES FOR PARENT INVOLVEMENT

STEM³ Academy facilitates a very active Parent Association to enhance our school program. There are opportunities for the Parent Association to be very active in the school, from fundraising for our Annual Giving Campaign to participating in Career Day to making suggestions for meet-ups on our Facebook page.  Parents are an integral part of the school and are part of the process of ensuring the best educational and social experiences for their child.  Parents are encouraged to donate funds which will be earmarked for special projects that augment technology, creative arts, athletic program and the library through the Annual Giving campaign. STEM³ Academy parents can also support their child’s individual classroom teachers by acting as Room Parents. Parent Support Nights, run by a therapist and a parent help to disseminate current research and information regarding Autism, and to lend support to our parents.

DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION

Student Enrollment by Grade Level
Grade Level Number of Students
K 0
1 2
2 0
3 1
4 1
5 1
6 5
7 8
8 9
9 11
10 9
11 12
12 15

STUDENT ENROLLMENT BY GROUP
This table displays the percent of students enrolled at the school who are identified as being in a particular group.

GROUP PERCENT OF TOTAL ENROLLMENT
Black or African American 6%
Asian 6%
Hispanic or Latino 7%
Native American 0%
White (not Hispanic) 78%
Two or More Races 3%
Students with Disabilities 100%

Average Class Size and Class Size Distribution
This table displays by grade level the average class size and the number of classrooms that fall into each size category (a range of total students per classroom).

Grade Level 2016-17
Avg. Class Size Number of Classrooms
1-20 21-32 33+
6 11 1
7 11 1
8 10 1
9 14 1
10 14 1
11 13 1
12 5 1

 

Average Class Size and Class Size Distribution (Secondary)
This table displays by subject area the average class size and the number of classrooms that fall into each size category (a range of total students per classroom).

Subject 2016-17
Avg. Class Size Number of Classrooms
1-22 23-32 33+
English 9 4
Mathematics 5 6
Science 9 8
Social Science 9 4

SCHOOL CLIMATE

School Safety Plan

STEM3 Academy makes every effort to provide a safe environment for learning.  Students participate in emergency drills held on a monthly basis for earthquake and fire preparedness.  All staff receive mandatory yearly training regarding Child-Abuse Reporting, Sexual Harassment, Bullying, and ensuring safety from blood-borne infections.  The Safety Committee meets monthly to discuss concerns and correct safety issues. Earthquake supplies are available on site.  Staff members practice emergency drills and are assigned to stations such as triage, search and rescue, and first aid. The front gate is kept closed and there is a guard who attends it. Staff vehicles are identified by numbers decals and visitors are guided to the front office where they fill out a form regarding their identity and purpose at the school and are supplied with a badge. All staff are identified by a photo-ID badge. Teachers are aware of lock-down procedures and procedures for requesting immediate assistance.

SCHOOL-BASED BEHAVIOR MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

Philosophy:

STEM3 Academy believes that students show the most growth in their academic, social, communication, emotional and behavioral skills when they are provided with a safe, predictable and structured learning environment.  The most effective manner that this is achieved is through the establishment of “clear-cut” rules and expectations.

The STEM3 Academy philosophy is that the way to strengthen all skills is to highlight what a student is doing correctly, by attending to appropriate behaviors rather than inappropriate behaviors.  Once a student knows how to respond appropriately, and receives positive feedback for such, the likelihood is that he/she will continue to respond appropriately.  When too much attention is focused on a student’s poor behavior or academic failure, motivation decreases and maladaptive (negative/inappropriate) behaviors increase.

In any school setting it is often found that children display negative behaviors because the more severe their outburst: 1) the more attention they receive; 2) the more likely staff are to withdraw demands; 3) the more assistance they will be given and 4) the more likely staff are to allow the student increased time with a preferred adult or activity (such as letting a child avoid a task while “taking a walk”).

What is missing in many programs are increased attention, assistance, and preferred activity time for appropriate behaviors.  The behavior management system at STEM3 Academy seeks to change this way of responding. STEM3 Academy students will receive desired reinforcement for “good” behaviors and following rules, and not for undesirable behaviors.

In order to accomplish this, students work toward building up the necessary skills to deal effectively with their need for attention, assistance or break-time, handling anger, frustration and over-excitement appropriately, and develop social and problem-solving skills which allow them more control in dealing with negative situations.

STEM3 Academy employs a proactive approach, which means that we attempt to deal with any situation we know will lead to negative behaviors BEFORE the problem behavior occurs.  We also work on building up any necessary skills that the student requires in order to handle such situations/ environments.  When students feel comfortable and understand the rules of their environment, a positive learning situation is created, and disruptive behaviors decrease dramatically.

STEM3 Academy adheres to a proactive classroom management system philosophy that believes that any behavior plan will be more effective if it includes interactive strategies and or techniques.

SOCIAL SKILLS CURRICULUM

STEM3 Academy takes a multidisciplinary approach to helping our students succeed both academically and socially.  All students participate in a 21st Century Skills class every day of the week and social skills are included in every class as much as is practical. Almost all of the activities that are part of our curriculum require interaction, communication and participation. They require students to share ideas and materials, to assist each other on projects, assignments and builds, and to resolve conflicts and disagreements amicably. This is equally true of scientific experiments and research, that often require teams if not entire laboratories of researchers and the sharing and presentation of results. Applied tasks like a robotics build also require cooperation and communication—the build would be impossible without them as each team member relies on the expertise and participation of every other. Team members are expected to be considerate, compassionate, and respectful of others on their own team and of other teams too. Our curriculum, therefore, engages students directly, challenges them to participate and interact, and to share and strive to overcome personal differences. 

BEHAVIOR MANAGEMENT

STEM3 Academy emphasizes a positive behavior management system.  The Behavior Management System is designed to target behaviors that impeded academic success in the classroom and reinforce positive behaviors. Our school believes that students experience increased motivation both in the classroom and in social settings when they are provided with consistent positive reinforcement from the staff. STEM3 Academy recognizes that is  often difficult for students with autism, learning differences and attentional deficits to comply with classroom and social expectation at all times, and believes that each day is a fresh start for our students. This system includes:

  • Token Economy
  • Classroom Management Techniques
  • Individual Student Target Goals
  • Student of the Month assemblies that recognize students who have shown growth in academics, behavior and/or social skills.

Consequences for Inappropriate Behavior

  • Self time-out
  • Teacher Initiated time-out
  • Refocus Room
  • Quiet Area
  • In-house suspension – loss of privileges

SCHOOL FACILITIES

STEM3 Academy maintains a clean, safe physical plant.  School facilities are cleaned daily.  Repairs are made in a timely manner.  There is a maintenance crew on site to provide immediate assistance to staff and students. Floors are cleaned and waxed thoroughly during pupil-free days.  There is an on-going schedule of touch-up and repairing to ensure upkeep of the facility.  The school receives annual inspections and clearances from the Health and Fire Departments. Our staff has the ability to submit Maintenance Requests on the intranet.

Item Inspected Repair Status Repair Needed and Action Taken or Planned
Good Fair Poor
Gas Leaks X
Mechanical Systems X
Windows/Doors/Gates (interior and exterior) X
Interior Surfaces (walls, floors, and ceilings) X
Hazardous Materials (interior and exterior) X
Structural Damage X
Fire Safety X
Electrical (interior and exterior) X
Pest/Vermin Infestation X
Drinking Fountains (inside and outside) X
Restrooms X
Sewer X
Playground/School Grounds X
Roofs X
Overall Cleanliness X

TEACHERS

Teacher Credentials

All STEM3 Academy special education teachers hold a full California Teacher Commission credential authorizing service for our student population or are Internship Permits or Short Term Staff permits that are also authorized by the California Teacher Commission.

Teachers 2016-17
With Full Credential 8
Without Full Credential 0
Teaching Outside Subject Area of Competence 0

Substitute Teacher Availability

STEM3 Academy uses our instructional aides who have passed the CBEST and have substitute credentials to cover teachers when they are absent.  This system ensures familiarity with staff and continuity of curriculum for our students and causes the least disruption.  We also call on regular substitute teachers that have taught previously at STEM3 Academy or similar schools that serve students on the autism spectrum, and are familiar with profiles of our students and the specialized teaching strategies we use.

Teacher Evaluation Process

Teachers and instructional aides are formally evaluated once a year by the director and principals. In addition, administrators conduct observations and classroom visits several times a year on an informal basis.  Teachers receive feedback and suggestions regarding implementation of lessons, behavior management and addressing learning styles.

Designated Instructional Services Providers and Other Support Staff

Title Number Assigned to School Average Number of Students per Academic Counselor
Academic/Transition Counselor 3
Adaptive PE Specialists 1
Psychologist 1
Nurse 1
Speech/Language/Hearing Specialist 1
Occupational Therapists 1

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Minimum days are scheduled once every month for staff development.  In the 2015-16 school year, the following topics will be addressed during teacher-training workshops:

  • Social Skills Training
  • Executive Functioning
  • CST analyses
  • Using Assessments to improve learning outcomes
  • School Wide Learning Goals
  • Enriching Curriculum
  • Alternative Assessments
  • Differentiated Instruction
  • Project Based Learning
  • Curriculum and Technology
  • College Board training

CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS

STEM3 Academy offers a core curriculum that meets or exceeds the California Common Core Standards.  In addition to academic subjects, we are able to offer physical education, art, robotics, athletics, drama and computer technology. Daily Planners and homework organizers are used in all grades, and notebook organization is stressed and checked on weekly.    

The scope and sequence of classes are based on the graduation requirements adopted by Los Angeles Unified School District.  In addition to the minimum courses required for high school graduation, STEM3 Academy offers higher level courses such as Pre-Calculus, Chemistry, Physics, Digital Arts and Environmental Science. AP Statistics, AP US History, AP World History and AP Computer Science are also offered. STEM3 Academy has an approved University of California A-G list that enables our students to apply for admission to the UC system.

Mastery of content and access to curriculum are ensured through assessment and accommodations in testing, curriculum and presentation.  Textbooks and curriculum materials are selected from the instructional resources reviewed and adopted by the California State Board of Education and the LAUSD approved textbooks list.  In order to ensure that textbooks meet state standards, we purchase the California editions of textbooks when available.  

LIST OF SUBJECT AREA COURSES BY GRADE LEVEL

Grade 4 English, Mathematics, Science, Computers, Engineering and Design, PE, Health, Art
Grade 6 English, Mathematics, Earth Science, Computer Science, Engineering and Design, PE, Ancient History, Health, Art
Grade 7 English, Pre-Algebra, Physical Science, Computer Science, Engineering and Design, PE, World History, Spanish, Health
Grade 8 English, Algebra 1, Biological Science, Computer Science, Engineering and Design, PE, US History, Spanish
Grade 9 English, Algebra 1, Geometry, Biology, Computer Science, CAD, PE, Health, Spanish 1, Spanish 2
Grade 10 English, Geometry, Pre-Calculus, Chemistry, AP World History, PE, Spanish 2
Grade 11 English, Pre-Calculus, AP Calculus AB, Physics, AP US History, AP Computer Science
Grade 12 English, AP English, AP Calculus BC, AP Statistics, AP Environmental Science, Government, AP Computer Science B

 

Core Curriculum Areas               Pupils Who Lack Textbooks and Instructional Materials
Reading / Language Arts 0%
Mathematics 0%
Science 0%
History – Social Science 0%
Foreign Language 0%
Health 0%

ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY

STEM3 Academy believes that their computer laboratories and library utilize the latest technology and equipment.  It is expected that STEM3 Academy students be able to fully use the technology that is currently available in order to afford them the opportunity to become productive and independent participants in work, classroom and leisure settings. STEM3 Academy has a fourteen-station computer lab and two laptop carts.  In addition, all classrooms are equipped with one or more computers and interactive white boards. 

STEM3 Academy has purchased site licenses for the following programs:

Adobe

Adobe software empowers students to express ideas using the same design and production tools used by creative professionals worldwide. At STEM3 Academy we encourage our students to express themselves through digital content which can serve as a foundation for many careers. STEM3 Academy also plans to offer certifications in Adobe which prepares students for careers in graphic design, animation, motion graphics, web design, web development, architecture and more.

MATLAB

MATLAB software lets our students explore and visualize ideas as well as collaborate across disciplines. This language and interactive environment is used by engineers and scientists worldwide. Proficiency in MATLAB prepares our students for team projects as well as work in many STEM-disciplines. MATLAB capabilities include numeric computation, data analysis and visualization, programming and algorithm development, and application development and deployment. 

EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

STEM3 Academy offers many opportunities to support extracurricular activities on and off the campus during the school year.  This is done to add enrichment and experiential opportunities that are not covered in the core curriculum. These activities promote self-worth, independence and the ability to generalize appropriate social skills within a mainstream environment.

On Campus Activities:

  • School Dances
  • Student Interest Clubs
  • Student Government
  • Internships
  • Sports Teams
  • Awards Ceremonies
  • Art
  • Drama
  • Computers
  • Fitness Room
  • Robotics

Off Campus Activities:

  • Junior/Senior Prom
  • Winter Formal
  • Educational Field Trips
  • Odyssey of the Mind Competition
  • FIRST Robotics Competition
  • Opportunities for local transportation use
  • World Strides Trips (Overnight Field Trips)
  • Art Exhibits of Student Work – Thomas Grey Gallery, Bergemont Station
  • Community Service
    • Heal The Bay Beach Clean Up
    • M.E.N.D. (Meet Each Need with Dignity)
    • LA Regional Food Bank
    • Pen Pal Letters to Solders in Iraq
    • SPCA
    • Frontline Fund
    • Athletics

CAREER PREPARATION AND INTERNSHIPS

All STEM3 Academy students complete an interest inventory and a teacher-initiated interview as part of their IEP process.  During this interview the results of the inventory are discussed as well as student strengths as related to their interests.

STEM3 Academy offers the following career preparation classes and internship opportunities for students:  Career Pathways Classes, 21st Century Skills Classes, On- and Off-Campus Internships, Individual Transition Plans and dual enrollment for students in the 11th and 12 grades. 

Our school has a college/transition counselor who works with all high school students and their families to help them make a smooth transition between high school and post – graduation studies and vocations.  College tours, presentations from vocational schools, colleges and universities and outside services such as Regional Center and the Department of Mental Health are offered through the school year.  Field trips are scheduled to college fairs, vocational institutions, and local community colleges and local universities.

SCHOOL COMPLETION AND POSTSECONDARY PREPARATION

Indicator
Graduation rate for 12th graders 100%
Measures
Dropout Rate for high school students                                                          0%
Students who completed all courses required for University of California or California State University admission 100%

CAHSEE Results

2014-2015
English/Language Arts N/A
Math N/A

INSTRUCTIONAL DAYS
This table displays a comparison of the number of instructional days offered at the school compared to the state requirement for each grade.

Grade Level Instructional Days with at least 180 instructional Minutes
Offered State Requirement
9 180 days 180 days
10 180 days 180 days
11 180 days 180 days
12 180 days 180 days