Imagine a public school that redefines STEM literacy, equitable education, and what it means to be a well-educated 21st-century student. Imagine a school known for encouraging innovation, for pushing the limits of what is expected, delivering curriculum in a way that is relevant to real-world needs and goals of students, and creating an environment that promotes academic success through a social justice lens. Imagine a school where learning is designed for, and often by, the students, where teachers collaborate as part of their daily practice and learn alongside their students, where parents are welcome in the classrooms at any time, and where professionals in other fields participate in teaching and learning. When you walk in this school, you sense there is a bond of caring between all the groups—teachers, students, leadership, and support staff—where people look out for each other and students support each other to do their very best.
STEMbyTAF schools are schools where generations of families in the community aspire to learn and educators from around the state desire to teach. Known as a hub of innovation that trains compassionate leaders who give back, each STEMbyTAF school is a valuable asset that seeks to leverage the skills and talents of the students for the betterment of their local and global community.
The principal is the steward of this great school vision, ensuring a laser focus on the mission of the school. The principal creates maximum opportunities for teachers to develop their craft and to collaborate with adults from other professions to develop authentic learning experiences. The principal fosters an environment where adults and students are encouraged to share their passions and celebrate their personal learning journeys.
Teachers are seen and treated as highly respected professionals, with a great deal of autonomy over their classroom. Teachers serve as the facilitators of learning and continuously strive to cultivate the type of environment that enables everyone in the school to grow as individuals who contribute to the good of the whole. STEMbyTAF teachers provide multiple rich learning experiences for their students. They use inquiry as a lens for equity and explore diverse forms of knowledge and experience. They make sure students see themselves, their cultures, and their interests in the work they do. Teachers are encouraged and supported as they model the kind of learning they want their students to emulate. Teachers fully support each student by providing an individualized roadmap to their personal goals and ambitions. We understand that regardless of background, students envision themselves being successful in life.
Students learn to succeed; not for standards or teacher expectations; not to compete in the workforce and fuel the economy; not for personal gain and prestige; but so they can position themselves to create the world that they themselves envision; personally, communally, nationally and globally. STEMbyTAF schools challenge students with issues of the 21st century. Each student grapples with their personal, communal, and cultural role in the global systems of environment and life. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) permeates the curriculum to ensure that our students are wielding the most efficient and effective tools to analyze, communicate, synthesize, and evaluate their work and the world around them. STEMbyTAF students explore new worlds of science, art, language, and society. They learn, create, teach, and inspire. They are comfortable grappling with complex issues, engaging in intellectual risk-taking, persisting through challenges. STEMbyTAF schools bring to life true performance-based assessment where students are graded, not on the answers they provide, but on the work of their hands and minds and their efforts to make positive change and impact the world.
These great schools create a culture that invites and connects with community members, especially students’ families. They provide a hospitable environment that respects the needs of its participants by honoring their culture and their time. To attend each STEMbyTAF school is to join a family.
STEMbyTAF schools aim to produce that next generation of well-rounded learners who draw on experiences throughout their STEMbyTAF school career to drive their future and become leaders: leaders for our community, leaders for our country, and leaders for the world.