Expanding access to the STEMbyTAF Learning Model
Scaling What Works for Better Education and Better Futures
What is School Transformation?
The School Transformation program aims to expand best practices in leadership, teaching, and learning used at our pilot school TAF@Saghalie. We partner with existing public school districts to implement what is known as our STEMbyTAF Academic Learning Model. An approach that helps schools create academic environments that eliminate race-based disparity in academic achievement and promote the highest level of student learning and teacher development. We are aiming to redefine STEM education in public schools.
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, that creates 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.
Read the complete STEMbyTAF Vision for Our Schools adopted by all our school partners.
In order to transform using the STEMbyTAF model, we equip each of our partner public schools with:
- Full-time instructional coach(es) for the duration of the transformation.
- Focused, ongoing professional development on campus and through our STEMbyTAF Teacher Institute.
- School leadership collaboration.
- Program support including instructional technology, college and career readiness, and access to STEM professionals.
- Membership to a network of educators teaching with the STEMbyTAF method.
Students will 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 they envision, personally, communally, nationally and globally.
Transformation Brings Results.
Boze In The Spotlight
In 2015, by partnering with the Tacoma Public School District, Boze Elementary became a STEMbyTAF Transformation School. The school began its journey to change the way its students and teachers learn. Boze Elementary not only met the criteria for TAF, but we also received energetic support and commitment from its principal Arron Wilkins and the rest of the administrative staff and educators.
By the summer of 2015, the full Boze Elementary staff attended the STEMbyTAF Teacher’s Institute where educators learned the tools necessary to become enablers of the highest form of education – a project-based model with a focus in STEM, career learning, and leadership opportunities.
Once the first day of school began in September of 2015, Boze teachers were equipped with knowledge and drive. TAF instructional coaches worked alongside educators to develop projects around the students, the community, and their interests. They collaborated with one another to make a fluid transition, each subject matter correlating to another – the true way career professionals work. We were able to facilitate community and nearby businesses support within the school, expanding learning outside of the classroom walls into distribution centers, operations departments, and more. For the first time, these children were being exposed to their future and the unlimited possibilities in a way that made their dreams tangible. They were beginning to see education not from a single perspective, but as a world where they could identify problems and tackle them confidently.
Reaching Students Furthest From Educational Justice.
Inline with our mission to bring equity in education to students of color and low-income communities, public school profiles must meet at least one of the following criteria:
- At least 70% student population of color
- More than 40% students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch
- More than 15% students in special education
- School qualifies for Title I Federal assistance
- School is in state mandated turn-around status
- Students’ standardized state test scores are consistently below the state and district averages.
Along with the preliminary qualifications, schools must also have:
- A superintendent with existing plans to innovate the school district
- School Board approval
- An innovative principal with demonstrated leadership and quality relationships with staff and families
- The majority of teaching staff agreeable to change
Are you interested in more information about TAF and our transformation work? Leave us a line and we’ll get back to you as quickly as possible!