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Tuesday , November 13 2018
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Tag Archives: WIN Academy

Socorro ISD WIN Academy Students Celebrate year of STEAM Training via Tech-E Program

More than 350 elementary and middle school students, who are enrolled in the district’s WIN Academy, had a graduation of sorts from the Tech-E program, a year-long interactive computer programming session at the University of Texas at El Paso.

Each child received a certificate and congratulations from SISD Superintendent Dr. José Espinoza and UTEP officials, who partnered with Team SISD to provide the innovative the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math classes.

The Tech-E program began in the fall 2016 to demonstrate and create opportunities for Team SISD’s WIN students to develop skills in STEAM.

“It’s been incredible,” said Alisa Zapata Farmer, SISD’s Chief Academic Officer. “Not only does this teach students about technology and science, they get to see what it’s like to be on a university campus. They’ve learned about working together. They learned about creativity, teamwork and critical thinking. We are so thankful they are partnering with us.”

Tech-E has been such a success that next year two to three more schools will be added to the program, Farmer said. Socorro Middle School, Desert Wind School and Mission Ridge Elementary School students participated this year.

“We want to expose more students to the program,” she said. “It’s such an important aspect of learning for today’s student.”

The current cohort of students will continue the program and a new group will start next school year.

“It’s been very successful,” said Pedro Espinoza, an instructional technologist in UTEP’s academic technology department. “It grew from a small summer camp into this big program with the Socorro Independent School District. We are happy to have them here. We hope that in the future we can make this program grow even more.”

The WIN Academy, which stands for Work hard, have an “I can do it” attitude, and Never give up, is an award-winning SISD program designed to help vulnerable children succeed in school and close achievement gaps among students across the district.

With the Tech-E program, WIN students were exposed to a wide range of technologies so they will be better prepared for a career and/or future choices in STEAM fields with real-world, hands-on experience.

“Every field that is out there and even those coming that we don’t even know about in the next five to 10 years have technology, science, engineering, arts and math embedded in them in some way,” said Mike Pitcher, Tech-E coordinator and UTEP’s director of academic technologies.

During the year-long program, students also learned about the importance of cyber security, how to use a 3-D printer and how to build, program and play games on a Raspberry Pi, a credit-card-sized computer that plugs into a keyboard and monitor.

On their last day, they participated in different activities and challenges that tested not only their science abilities, but their math as well.

“They were able to implement anything they have learned and benefitted from the program and take it to the next level,” said Irene Guerrero, a fifth-grade WIN Academy teacher at Mission Ridge. “They were able to complete different tasks and compete for points.”

Students have learned how to apply different skills in STEAM, but more importantly, they learned about teamwork.

“They know how to collaborate with one another and at the same time learn about STEAM along the way,” Pedro Espinoza said. “The program is conducted in a fun and engaging way.”

Guerrero believes Tech-E is an essential program that will have long-term benefits for students.

“The students love it. What they have learned here, they are able to not only apply to the classroom, but also to real world situations,” Guerrero said. “And it is getting them ready for college. Understanding what is it I like to do? Where am I at right now? Where do I see myself in the future?”

Fifth-grader Jesus Valenzuela likes relating what he has learned at UTEP to math class. He hopes to return to the program next school year.

“It’s absolutely awesome,” Valenzuela said. “It’s great because we have a myriad of advantages that other students don’t have. I wish other kids could have also had it.”

Video+Story: Socorro ISD seeks Teachers for WIN Academy

Socorro ISD is looking for certified teachers for grade levels from 2nd to 9th for the district’s innovative WIN Academy, which provides more instruction and resources for students who need extra support to achieve academic success.

The district will offer the WIN Academy in 18 campuses next school year and offers great opportunities for prospective teachers. Team SISD is seeking energetic, progressive, and compassionate teachers for this unique opportunity.

Certified teachers will be hired for this non-traditional program to help students succeed academically.

Applicants should bring their resume and be prepared for the opportunity to meet and interview with school principals.

What:             Teacher job fair for SISD WIN Academy

Who:               SISD Human Resources staff, principals, qualified applicants

Where:           SISD District Service Center, HR Orientation Room | 12440 Rojas Dr.

When:             Tuesday, April 25, 2017 | 3 to 6 p.m.

Socorro ISD awarded $800,000 W.K. Kellogg Foundation Grant for WIN Academy

The Socorro Independent School District has been awarded a prestigious W.K. Kellogg Foundation grant to support its innovative WIN Academy, which creates conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success – a mission shared by the Kellogg Foundation.

The grant for $800,000, which runs through September 2019, will assist Team SISD to meet its goal of closing the achievement gap by increasing the capacity of teachers and the implementation of a personalized learning platform.

The WIN Academy is a one-of-a-kind program that was implemented through the vision and leadership of SISD Superintendent Dr. José Espinoza last school year.

Dr. Espinoza used his firsthand experience as a vulnerable child to develop an education system that helps all children to overcome obstacles and reach their full potential now and in the future. As he researched best practices for improving student academic outcomes, he found that Jaime Escalante’s legendary teaching approach featured in the 1988 film Stand and Deliver mirrored his own educational philosophy, high expectations, and vision of excellence.

SISD awarded 800000 WK Kellogg Foundation3“As the superintendent of Socorro Independent School District, my goal is to follow Escalante’s footsteps by putting a non-traditional education system in place that provides our students with the support and resources they need to thrive emotionally and academically,” said Dr. Espinoza. “We are grateful and honored to receive the Kellogg Foundation grant that will further support our relentless efforts to ensure every student in Team SISD succeeds.”

The program started at 10 schools in SISD during the 2015-2016 school year and was expanded this school year to six more schools. Team SISD already has seen success in WIN Academy student performance, attendance, and confidence.

The WIN Academy ensures SISD students who struggle in a traditional education setting receive more learning time via nine-hour school days on Monday through Thursday with a double dose of reading and math, more resources including a digital device and digital curriculum, and more personalized learning with a teacher who loops with them for multiple years. WIN teachers, students, and parents have pledged to Work hard, have an “I can do it” attitude, and Never give up.

SISD leaders also have been invited to present and share WIN Academy best practices at state and national conferences. As educators become aware of this unique program, they are interested in learning more about its strategies, goals, and success.

“The reality is the one-size-fits-all traditional public education system does not meet the needs of all our students,” said Dr. Espinoza. “With the support of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation and our entire community, I strongly believe our WIN Academy has the potential to significantly impact education reform not just in SISD but also nationwide.”

To learn more about the WIN Academy, visit www.sisd.net/WINAcademy

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States.

Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.

The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success.

WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit www.wkkf.org