Program Description

Overview

Taper Avenue Steam Magnet School is a small, single-track suburban elementary school located in San Pedro, in the harbor district of the Los Angeles Unified School District. We are part of Local District 8, which is in the southernmost part of the District.  The school has a capacity of 164 students in grades K-5.  Each year students are added to the school primarily in Kindergarten, additional students are added based on availability.

All students receive instruction in self-contained settings.  Teachers collaborate to discuss curriculum and teaching strategies.  In addition to collaboration amongst Magnet teachers, they also work closely with teachers within the regular Taper Avenue School.  Magnet students are frequently integrated with the students in regular Taper Avenue.  This cohesiveness allows teachers to improve their teaching and provides a better education for all of Taper’s students.

Educational Philosophy

The Taper STEAM Magnet has developed a program to meet the needs of all students at Taper who have a special interest in technology.  Students learn to use their technology skills across the curriculum.  Technology is used as a supplement to the on-going instructional program.  Students will become self-directed, creative, and collaborative learners, who will be able to listen, speak, read, and write in all curricular areas to become critical thinkers and effective communicators in a technological society.

Differentiated Objectives of the Program

The key objective of the program is to educate the students to become self-learning students who are able to apply their knowledge of technology into our society.  The students will gain this knowledge by improving their problem-solving skills, creative thinking skills, decision-making skills, and relationships with others.  The educational program will enhance this ability to make correct choices about how to use their technical knowledge in a society overwhelmed by technology.

Expectations of Student Performance

Students who succeed at Taper STEAM Magnet are students who have a desire to learn how to use technology resources.  Taper STEAM Magnet is fitted to improve all students who have this desire.  Students will be asked to improve their technology skills yearly.  Each grade level has a set of technology objectives /standards that students are expected to learn throughout their experience at Taper.  Students will be evaluated on their technical knowledge on an on-going basis.

Multicultural Activities/Curriculum

The multicultural activities and curriculum that are taught at Taper STEAM Magnet are displayed not only in the curriculum but by students who teach each other the differences and similarities between the cultures represented in the school.  While learning at Taper students will explore the diverse multicultural backgrounds of the past and present leaders in the world who have improved society.  Social science also provides the school-wide platform to explore the unique cultural and ethnic diversity of Taper students and our country.  Multicultural activities such as Heritage Festivals, International Days, Colonial Fairs, music programs, and guest speakers enrich learning experiences.  Each grade level has independent study projects that are differentiated to allow students the opportunity to showcase their learning.

Special Curriculum

Technology is used in all content areas during the course of a year.  While teachers plan instruction they integrate technology into the resources provided.  In the Open Court program, students use technology to assist them in improving their reading and writing.  Programs such as Kidspiration and Inspiration are used to help students organize information from stories and to help them write their own stories.  Students use the internet to help them with research on stories they have read as well as the themes they study in their Treasures text.  In mathematics, students use Microsoft Excel to write spreadsheets which helps them organize their data.  In social studies and science, students use the internet to help them research topics studied.  This research allows students to improve their problem-solving skills and critical thinking.  In developing questions students become more aware of how to answer complex problems.

Special Enrichment Activities

During the course of the year, students are involved in many enrichment activities in the classroom as well as outside the classroom.  Students in the fifth grade attend a field trip to a company called Rhythm and Hues.  This company is one of the largest computer animation companies in the world.  The students tour the facility and learn about computer animation.  This knowledge allows the students to work on animation projects at school.  The fifth-grade students participate in a school-wide animation contest.

Fifth-grade students attend a 3-day field trip to CIMI (Catalina Island Marine Institute).  This field trip allows students to better understand the plant and animal life which lives in the ocean surrounding them.  Fifth-grade students use the internet to research the wildlife studied and complete presentations based on those findings.  The fourth-grade students culminate their study of the California Missions with a 2-day field trip to the San Juan Capistrano Mission and Lazy W. Ranch.

Monthly student recognition assemblies allow the entire student body, including Magnet, general and special day students, with the opportunity to receive acknowledgment for their accomplishments in the classrooms.  Fifth-grade students also have the opportunity to participate in the student council.  This council meets weekly to discuss ways to improve the environment at Taper.

Taper receives the services of a Chorus teacher on a weekly basis.  Students who participate in this chorus perform at assemblies and attend field trips in music.  The Arts Prototype Program is implemented at Taper Avenue School.  Taper Technology Magnet is provided instruction to one of its teachers.  Each year another teacher will be added.  Students and teachers are instructed in Fine Arts, Dance, and Performing Arts.

We focus the 4 C’s (STEAM Indicators) –

Creativity

Critical Thinking

Communication

Collaboration

Steam classes make real-world connections and career connections.