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Frequently Asked Questions
- When did the Jerry Knight STEM Academy open?
The STEM middle school opened on the fall of 2017.
- How many students can attend the STEM Academy at full capacity?
Approximately 275 students can attend The Academy at full capacity.
- Who will attend the STEM Academy?
Each year the Jerry Knight STEM Academy opens applications for incoming sixth-graders.
- What will the school hours be for my child?
We will follow the MISD middle school arrival and dismissal times.
- Why did the MISD decide to offer a STEM Academy for middle school?
Roughly 60 percent of future jobs which will be available for our current elementary school students when they
graduate will involve skill sets associated with science, math, engineering, or technology. While STEM
curriculum is available in ALL of our schools. The opportunity to build a STEM program that incorporates
facilities that lend themselves to these instructional strategies is important to the Mansfield Independent School
District and the children and families that it serves.
- What makes this a STEM school and why is it unique?
The STEM Academy is an academic program located at Wester Middle School. The academy is designed to provide a rigorous and focused course of study emphasizing STEM. Coursework is advanced with a Pre-AP concentration and integrates project based learning and maker space as well as open learning environments. The learning environment at the academy gives students “voice and choice” to create, invent, tinker, and explore with the result being high quality and authentic products. Students will use 21st century skills, including collaboration and critical thinking, while learning academic content.
- Will you still offer classes in band/orchestra and physical education/athletics?
The new program will still offer a comprehensive foundation in reading and writing, and instruction in physical education. Limited non-STEM electives will be available as they fit into student schedules with the focus of scheduling being STEM courses.
- What other elective options will be made available to my child?
Elective options will vary depending on the grade level of the student. Academic plans will outline the elective options open to students in the STEM Academy. The focus of several electives will be STEM related in all three grade levels. Students will have access to Wester Middle School electives in seventh and eighth grade on a limited basis as they will fit into the student’s schedule.
- What kinds of extracurricular activities will the school have?
The identification of extra-curricular activities is based on student and staff interest. However, a number of clubs will be related to STEM topics such as: Robotics, Destination Imagination, Academic UIL, Math Pentathlon, etc. Additionally, students will be allowed to try out for sports and participate in school activities on the Wester Middle School campus in accordance with campus, district, and UIL rules and regulations.
Will the district provide bus transportation to the STEM Academy?
District transportation is provided to and from the STEM Academy.