PA STEAM Academy – First Things You Need to Know
- The Pennsylvania STEAM Academy is a NON-PROFIT charter school.
- The school will be open to ALL Harrisburg School District students, though a lottery may be necessary to determine final admissions.
- The school will open in September of 2019 for grades K, 1 and 2. Each grade will have 40 seats (2 classes of 20 in each grade) in year 1.
- The school was founded by career educators and community leaders to offer city students and their parents a solid educational choice.
- The school’s founders have spent years creating the strongest curriculum possible.
- A large group of community service providers is partnered with the school to help support the student and the whole family.
Academic Focus of the PA STEAM Academy
- Two hours of literacy instruction every school day – early success in reading is key to students’ success.
- Conceptual math that’s interesting and fun.
- A science program developed by the Smithsonian Institution.
- Computer coding beginning in kindergarten.
- Spanish language classes beginning in kindergarten.
How the STEAM Academy works
- Class sizes will be small – 20 students per classroom.
- One teacher and one teacher’s aide per class.
- Nutritious breakfast, lunch and snack every school day.
- After school and summer programs.
- Phys ed, music, theater and art classes that support the curriculum.
- Full-time social worker on staff. Student counseling, mentoring and support services available.
The PA STEAM Academy has done a national search to find the strongest reading program available, the American Reading Company program. Students will spend two hours each school day in reading. Early reading success is a clear indicator of long-term educational, career, and life success.
Sample Parent Letter: Explains what the child can do and what the child must be able to do to move to the next level.
PA STEAM Curriculum -Mathematics
The PA STEAM Academy will use Eureka Math from Great Minds, a K-8 math curriculum rated the highest in the country by independent agencies. Eureka Math was developed by teachers to be as engaging, fun, and effective as possible in teaching students math concepts.
The Academy will use Smithsonian Science K-8, a curriculum developed by the Smithsonian Institution in partnership with the National Academy of Sciences to dramatically transform the learning of science for K-to-8 students.
PA STEAM Curriculum – Computer Science
“The K-12 Computer Science Framework represents a vision in which all students engage in the concepts and practices of computer science. Beginning in the earliest grades and continuing through 12th grade, students will develop a foundation of computer science knowledge and learn new approaches to problem solving that harness the power of computational thinking to become both users and creators of computing technology.” The K–12 Computer Science Framework
PA STEAM Curriculum – Engineering Design
PA STEAM’s engineering curriculum uses Engineering Is Elementary, developed by the Museum of Science in Boston. Their goal is to inspire innovation in today’s classroom as children discover their inner engineer and become lifelong STEM learners.
PA STEAM Curriculum – Creative Arts
The arts education program at PA STEAM will develop artistic literacy and excellence in each dance, music, theater arts and visual arts program. Spanish language instruction will begin in kindergarten and continue each year.
Services for PA STEAM’s special education students will be provided by Capital Area Intermediate Unit.
PA STEAM Sample Daily Schedule
8:15 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. Soft Landing*
8:45 a.m. –10:45 a.m. Integrated Literacy Block English Language Arts (ELA)
10:50 a.m. –11:50 a.m. Science Exploration
(snack time during science or math – approximately 10 minutes)
11:55 a.m.–12:55 p.m. Math Exploration
1:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m. Lunch
1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Recess or Stations (structured play)
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Engineering**
3:05 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. Creative Arts***
3:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Dismissal
* Soft landing – read alouds, sharing, announcements, breakfast
** Engineering – 1 hour STEM Focus Engineering, Design, Robotics, Coding, Computer Science
*** Creative Arts – movement, instrumental music, visual arts, computer science, foreign language
- Academic Quality
- Consistent support of students and their families
- Retention of Passionate, Qualified and Effective Teachers
- Parent Satisfaction
- Financial Health