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Kennemer STEAM Academy FAQ
1. What grade levels will the Kennemer STEAM Academy have?
2018-2019 The STEAM Academy will be grade 6 only
2019-2020 The STEAM Academy will be for grades 6-7
2020-2021 and beyond The STEAM Academy will be for grades 6-8
2. Who is eligible to apply for the Kennemer STEAM Academy?
Any 5th grader in the 2017-2018 school year that is currently attending a Duncanville ISD school or any current 5th grader in the 2017-2018 school year that lives within the Duncanville ISD boundaries.
3. When does the application window open and close?
The online application will open on February 26, 2018, at 8 AM and closes at 11:59 PM on March 18, 2018.
4. How do I apply?
Parents/Legal Guardians of eligible students must complete an online application during the application window that opens on February 26, 2018, at 8 AM and closes at 11:59 PM on March 18, 2018.
5. Will transportation be provided?
Yes, any STEAM Academy student that lives within the Duncanville ISD boundaries and is more than 2 miles from the Kennemer STEAM Academy will receive transportation.
6. What is your selection process for the “lottery” system? Demographics? Grades? Special Needs? What are ALL the parameters?
The lottery process is open to all current 5th-grade students that currently attend a Duncanville ISD school or that lives within Duncanville ISD boundaries; there are no predetermined criteria for admission. The lottery is computerized and will select students at random. The open lottery process is in place to provide opportunities for all students.
7. If a student going into 6th grade gets into the school, will they have a spot in 7th and 8th guaranteed?
Yes. Students who are admitted will retain their spot at the STEAM school until the end of their 8th-grade year.
8. How much parent support will be required of parents at The STEAM Academy?
Parents at the STEAM school will be participating partners. Parents will be encouraged to monitor their student’s assignments, grades, and attendance; attend evening activities; stay up to date on school communications.
9. I understand the STEAM Academy will select applicants by a lottery. However, in middle school, these kids have a history in the district. Why are grades and discipline not being used as criteria?
We believe that all students can learn if given the opportunity to thrive in an environment of support. We want all students in Duncanville ISD to have the opportunity to attend the STEAM school.
10. If student selection is based completely on a lottery, not grades or test scores how will you ensure rigor and learning opportunities that differ from any other classroom that struggles to bring along students whose grades and test scores are poor?
We will ensure rigor through differentiating and integrating lessons for each student in the class.
11. If this academy is so good, then why isn’t every classroom in the district structured like the STEAM Academy?
The Kennemer STEAM Academy is just the beginning of where Duncanville ISD is headed in creating schools of choice. It will have an open lottery which gives all students the opportunity to be admitted. More choice programs will open in subsequent years.
12. What is the difference between a STEAM student and other students?
A STEAM student is one who enjoys hands-on learning and is interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math.
13. What if we work for the District but live outside of the Duncanville ISD boundaries and choose to send our kid(s) to Duncanville ISD are they eligible for the STEAM Student Selection Lottery?
Per policy, a Duncanville ISD staff member’s children may attend DISD schools; therefore, their children are eligible to apply for the STEAM Academy. However, no preference will be given to them in the lottery, all eligible students have the same chance of being selected in the lottery.
14. Why are you not doing an aptitude admittance or looking at a proven record of academic success as opposed to the lottery system?
We want to provide choice for all students in Duncanville ISD. At the STEAM Academy, we want to ignite a passion for learning in all of our students. Our goal is for STEAM to be a source of motivation for all students.
15. Will parents also receive a letter notifying them if their student was not selected for the STEAM school?
Yes. Letters and emails will go out to all students that applied by the end of March notifying them if they have been accepted or put on the waitlist.
16. How will you ensure diversity when it comes to utilizing the lottery system for enrollment?
Our goal is that the random lottery will reflect the demographics of the DISD community.
17. Will the school day be longer?
The school day will be consistent with the other middle schools, 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM.
18. If my child does not get in this year will there be a lottery next year? How will it work?
Yes. There will be a new lottery every year for the open spots at each grade level. Note: once students are in the STEAM Academy, they are in the program until the end of their 8th-grade year. Therefore, the only a handful of spots may open for grade 7 in 2019-2020 due to students moving or opting out of the program.
19. Will the STEAM Academy have its own administration, teaching, and office staff?
The STEAM Academy will have an administrator, counselor, receptionist, and teachers designated to support the STEAM Academy.
20. Is this considered an accelerated learning environment or simply an alternative learning environment?
The STEAM middle school will offer an alternative learning environment with acceleration opportunities in all subjects.
21. What will a day look like timewise, schedule-wise, and elective wise?
The STEAM school will have a modified block similar to Duncanville High School.
Click HERE to see a list of courses offered to 6th graders at the STEAM Academy.
22. What are the art classes that will be provided at the STEAM school?
The STEAM middle school will offer Art through a STEAM lens. Students will take an Exploratory Arts course which will rotate through a variety of arts classes such as dance, photography, graphic art, culinary arts, construction design, animation, etc. Students will utilize an Art lens in their Makerspace and Computer Science course as well.
23. Are we still going to have our required classes including reading, history, science, and math?
Yes, the core classes will be provided at The STEAM Academy.
24. Will there be Pre-AP classes available at STEAM?
Yes, The STEAM Academy will provide Pre-AP and regular courses in grades 6-8.
25. Will STEAM students be able to gain High School Credit while attending the STEAM Academy?
Yes, students will have the opportunity to earn up to 7.5 high school credits by the end of their 8th-grade year. Students will have the opportunity to earn credits each year:
6th Grade –.5 High School Credits
7th Grade –1.5 High School Credits
8th Grade –5.5 High School Credits
26. What kind of assistance will be provided for struggling students?
The STEAM Academy will provide assistance to struggling students through the Response to Intervention (RtI) process. Teachers will regularly review student data to identify needs and support students with academic and/or behavioral interventions.
27. How will the curriculum differ from what is taught at the other intermediate and middle schools?
The STEAM Academy will offer the state and district curriculum. Instruction will be centered around the engineering design process. Click HERE to see a graphic for Design Thinking.
28. Will there be GT classes?
The STEAM middle school will provide gifted and talented instruction through the Pre-AP Academy.
29. Will there be bilingual classes at the STEAM Academy?
Since the STEAM Academy will be a middle school, LEP students in grade 6 will not be in bilingual classes as they are at the intermediate school. Students in grade 6 – 8 will receive ESL (English as a Second Language) services with supports as identified by the LPAC committee.
Athletics, Band, and Choir
30. Will students attending the Kennemer STEAM Academy be able to participate in athletics?
Yes, STEAM Academy students may participate in the Kennemer MS athletic program in 7th and 8th grade.
31. Will students attending the Kennemer STEAM Academy be able to participate in the band?
Yes, students in 6th grade at the STEAM Academy will have beginner band at the Academy and in 7th and 8th grade, they will be part of the Kennemer MS Band.
32. Will students attending the Kennemer STEAM Academy be able to participate in the choir?
Yes, students in 6th grade at the STEAM Academy will have a 6th-grade choir at the Academy and in 7th and 8th grade, they will be part of the Kennemer MS choir.
33. Will there be PE?
PE and Athletics will be offered to STEAM Academy students in 7th and 8th grade
34. Will clubs be offered at the Kennemer STEAM Academy, if so what clubs?
Yes. Student choice will drive the clubs at the STEAM school.
35. Where will the STEAM Academy be at Kennemer?
The Kennemer STEAM Academy will be housed in the new wing at Kennemer Middle School that was built through the bond. The new wing has 19 brand new classrooms on two floors, the STEAM Academy will use of the first floor for the 18-19 school year and starting in the 19-20 school year, both floors will be utilized for the Kennemer STEAM Program. The new wing has separate entrances from the main Kennemer building that will be used for the STEAM Academy.
Will the 6th graders attending the Kennemer STEAM Academy share any facility space with Kennemer Middle School? Will the 6th graders be with the KMS 7th & 8th graders?
There are three spaces that STEAM Program will share with the regular Kennemer Middle School program. Sixth-grade students in the STEAM Academy will utilize the Kennemer MS cafeteria (6th grade will have a separate lunch period), the band and choir rooms (6th graders will have a separate beginner band and choir) and, the library.