STEM Preparatory Academy, Nashville’s first public charter school specializing in science, technology, engineering and mathematics for fifth- through eighth-graders, received approval yesterday by Metro Nashville Public Schools for its inaugural high school – STEM Prep High, to open in fall 2015.
“We are energized by the vast support for STEM Prep High among our families, community-based organizations and private industry partners,” said Dr. Kristin McGraner, founder and executive director. “STEM Prep maintains a steadfast commitment to serving our community’s children, regardless of background, and appreciates the continued enthusiasm and partnership of our district partner in advancing opportunities for students and communities.”
STEM Prep High, located on the same campus as its middle school, will serve 483 students (grades 9 through 12) in South Nashville, particularly students in the Glencliff, Antioch and McGavock areas, and principally those students who graduate from the current STEM Prep middle grades campus.
STEM Prep High will build on the existing organization’s track record for producing significant academic gains and provide families in those areas with a high-quality STEM education option.
The review committee’s analysis states, “Reviewers were very impressed with the depth of STEM’s academic program, its well-thought-out strategies for students with disabilities and English language learners, and its excellent use of personalized learning plans made in conjunction with school personnel and families.”
The STEM Prep High curriculum will focus on a differentiated academic model to meet the needs of individual students while equipping all students with college readiness skills. In addition to solidifying foundational skills in literacy and mathematics, STEM Prep High will aim to deepen its students’ critical thinking, reasoning and problem-solving skills through project-based learning and workplace simulations. Of particular significance is the integration of college-level technical credentialing degree offerings in health sciences and IT, representing a truly novel, innovative and long-term solution to Middle Tennessee’s STEM workforce development challenges.
STEM Prep High will begin accepting applications for its ninth-grade class this fall. For more information on STEM Prep High or STEM Prep Middle, please visit www.stemprepacademy.org.
About STEM Preparatory Academy
STEM Preparatory Academy is Nashville’s first public charter school specializing in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. STEM Prep delivers a college preparatory program and emphasizes critical-thinking skills and math and science competencies that are transferable across all disciplines.
Since its inception in 2011, STEM Prep has outperformed its matched peer schools both locally and statewide in all subject areas. In addition, the Tennessee Department of Education designated STEM Prep as a “Reward School” for its performance in the 2012–13 school year. In 2013, STEM Prep was recognized as “Innovative School of the Year,” “Advocate of the Year” and “Technology Educator of the Year.”
In 2012, STEM ranked third in reading growth and fifth in math growth among all charter schools in the state as measured by the Tennessee Value Added Assessment System (TVAAS), according to a study performed by Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO).