Our goals are to:
- Ensure that our students can become STEM-capable leaders and citizens, innovators in a STEM-proficient workforce, and future STEM experts if they choose
- Close the achievement and participation gap for traditionally underrepresented students in the STEM fields
- Inspire students to pursue STEM majors in higher education, STEM-related careers, and/or teaching in the STEM areas
- Develop creativity through a Fine Arts curriculum connected to the STEM disciplines
- Raise student achievement
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Thank you for your interest in Union Point STEAM Academy! Please read the information below before submitting an application to our admission lottery.
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Who is Eligible to Attend?
Union Point STEAM Academy will be open to ALL K-7 students residing in Greene County. UPSA is a PUBLIC school under the Greene County Board of Education. All students in Greene County are given equal access and opportunity to enroll at the Union Point STEAM Academy, and it is the school’s objective to reach students representative of the racial and socioeconomic diversity in the community. In accordance with O.C.G.A. 20-2-2066 (1)(A), UPSA admits students of any race, color, nationality and ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation, or gender. UPSA enrolls all eligible students, as defined by Greene County School System, who reside within the county and who submit a timely application, unless the number of applications exceeds the capacity of a program, class, grade level, or building. In such cases, all applicants have an equal chance of being admitted through a random lottery; names are drawn at random to fill the open seats and all names not chosen to fill the open seats will be placed in order on a waiting list.
How Do We Approach Teaching and Learning?
UPSA will prepare and inspire its students to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics as their areas of focus. Teachers develop project-based learning STEM curricula that integrate all the disciplines, based on the interests of our students, real-world problems, and entrepreneurial ideas. Much like engineers, scientists, and artists, students at the STEAM Academy inquire, design, create, and share their artifacts with each other, the community, and the world. Students are assessed through these projects based on performance tasks much like they will be assessed in higher education and in the workforce. They are also assessed through standardized testing.
The Union Point STEAM Academy is the first rural STEAM school in Georgia. The STEAM Curriculum consists of three main components: a) project-based learning with a focus on authentic and experiential experiences b) infusion of the arts, engineering, and technology to enrich and support the curriculum; and c) a year-long, theme-based focus integrated into instruction in all disciplines. During the 2012-2013 school year, our students are focusing on conservation of natural resources.
What is a Public Charter School?
A charter school is a public school of choice that operates under the terms of a charter, or contract, with an authorizer, such as the state and local boards of education. Charter schools receive flexibility from certain state and local rules in exchange for a higher degree of accountability for raising student achievement.
What is the difference between a public charter school and a traditional public school?
Charter schools are governed by a non-profit board of directors or local governing council, and they receive flexibility from certain state and local rules and regulations in exchange for a higher level of accountability. Charter schools use this flexibility to implement innovative or unique programs, in order to provide educational options to parents and students that are not typically available in the traditional public schools.
What is a Public Conversion Charter School?
A conversion charter school is a charter school that previously existed as a traditional public school. The traditional public school entered into a charter to gain additional flexibility in exchange for greater accountability.
UPSA students are held to high expectations. As part of the Georgia Department of Education STEM Certification process, students at UPSA will be highly involved in STEM competitions and collaborations each year. These competitions will revolve around a particular scientific, research, mathematics, computer science or engineering project that all students will develop in conjunction with their teachers each year. The goal of this annual “anchor” project is to serve as a framework on which to build from year to year.
Plan for the Future
We expect UPSA to be a K-8 public conversion charter school by the 2013-2014 school year, expanding to 7th grade in August 2013 and 8th grade in August 2014.