Ukiah Unified School District

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The Power of Partnership, Innovation and Learning

Eagle Peak - A STEM Magnet School

 EaglePeakSTEMSchool
At Eagle Peak Middle School, we’ve always had an innate enthusiasm for science and technology. We love to explore and we love the discovery process. Now, thanks to the Ukiah Unified School District Board’s decision to make Eagle Peak Middle School a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) magnet school, we will have the opportunity to do more of what we do best.

Eagle Peak staff have already energetically begun preparing for the launch of our STEM school, including converting the existing computer lab into an engineering “Maker Space.” They are also planning student projects with robotics, electronics, computer coding and programming, 3-D art design, and music technology.

The magnet transition team is working on budget and operational issues such as transportation from elementary schools, replacing year-long electives with an exploratory elective wheel, creating the integrated curriculum, upgrading the science labs, purchasing equipment, advising staff and parent committees, and planning professional development.

One of the most obvious changes will be the adoption of block scheduling. This will allow more time for teachers to integrate magnet themes across core classes such as language arts, social studies, science, and math, and the school will reorganize elective classes so students can take more electives to develop interests in a wide range of STEM fields.

As a STEM magnet school, Eagle Peak will provide a small, personalized learning environment with a hands-on approach. Students will work in teams, participate in Maker events, and visit STEM-related high school and college classes—as well as STEM-related businesses.

As many people know, students who enjoy math and engineering often enjoy music, too, so we’re keeping our music program, albeit with one major change:  in addition to traditional instrumental music, students can also choose to take a music technology class.

Trustee Megan Van Sant said, “I think this school sounds fabulous. Well done. I’m excited about it. If I wasn’t already committed to the [dual language immersion] program I would consider shuttling my kids out there, so I’m excited about it. It’s really fun to see something happening in the Redwood Valley area.”

Right now, Eagle Peak enrolls about 440 students and we expect to see an initial increase of about 60 students with the magnet designation beginning in 2017-18.  For these new students who are joining us, as well as those who already attend Eagle Peak, we believe they should be taught to think deeply and critically about the new technologies of this century.  We want to prepare them to become the innovators, educators, researchers, and leaders who can solve the most pressing challenges facing our world. We hope that by providing hands-on learning with a focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics in a supportive, small-school environment, we’ll be putting students on a path to pursue high school and college educations that prepare them for employment in high-demand STEM fields doing fulfilling and interesting work.

 If you’d like to learn more, get in touch! I can be reached at (707) 472-5250 or dstearns@uusd.net.