Texas Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (T-STEM) Designation(2)

January 18, 2016 
TO THE ADMINISTRATOR ADDRESSED: 
SUBJECT: Texas Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (T-STEM) Designation 
The purpose of this letter is to inform school districts and open-enrollment charter schools of an upcoming opportunity to apply to participate in the college and career readiness model: T-STEM Academy designation. Information regarding T-STEM Academy designation and timelines for application are provided below.
T-STEM Designation 
Under the authority of Texas Education Code (TEC), §39.235 and Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §102.1093, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) has developed a designation process for T-STEM Academies. The designation process identifies districts that operate T-STEM Academies by maintaining the integrity of the model, which was designed to improve instruction and academic performance in science and mathematics-related subjects at secondary schools.
In accordance with TAC §102.1093, the designation process is required for all existing and proposed     T-STEM Academies. Schools that receive the T-STEM designation will receive a number of benefits, including:
Recognition as an Approved T-STEM Academy: 

    Schools designated by TEA as state-approved T-STEM Academies will receive various forms of media recognition including, but not limited to: identification on TEA’s website as a state-approved T-STEM Academy and recognition in press releases.  

    Participation in T-STEM Convenings:  

      Special events hosted by TEA provide opportunities for T-STEM Academy administrators to provide input on policies and procedures that impact T-STEM Academies.    

      Membership in the T-STEM Network: 

        Opportunities are provided for principals, teachers, and students in designated T-STEM Academies to share best practices through conferences and technical assistance sessions. Membership in the T-STEM Network allows T-STEM Academy staff to access online exemplars, professional development, and webinars. 

        Access to Technical Assistance: 

          Designated T-STEM Academies will have access to technical assistance including advice and information from a leadership coach who has successfully facilitated the design and implementation of T-STEM Academies operating in Texas.

          Strength of T-STEM Model:  
          a.) Through the designation process, TEA will recognize those T-STEM Academies that effectively incorporate T-STEM Design Blueprint elements. The designation process will enable districts and their partners to engage in the research and planning necessary to ensure that their T-STEM Academies are set up in the most effective way possible.  
          b.) The T-STEM Design Blueprint provides a framework for T-STEM Academies to access college and career opportunities that support post secondary success.
          To Apply for T-STEM Designation: 
          The T-STEM designation application is available online at the following address: thetrc.org/TSTEM2016/.
            • Applications must be submitted to TEA through the online application interface on or before Friday, March 4, 2016 at 5 pm CST in order to be eligible for designation as a T-STEM Academy during the 2016-2017 school year. The TEA anticipates notifying each applicant of its approval status to operate a designated T-STEM Academy by June 2016.
            • Districts must complete this application each year in order to renew T-STEM Academy designation.                                                  
            Technical Assistance:  
            • The T-STEM designation application for 2016-2017 is an online, web-based application. 
            • The technical assistance webinar is not required; however, attendance is strongly encouraged and will provide potential applicants the ability to learn how to access and navigate the online, web-based application system.
            • A recorded version of the webinar will be available for individuals unable to attend the live webinar.
               

              Date/Time

              Description

               

              Wednesday, February 3, 2016
              10:00 am – 12:00 pm

              Webinar Registration

               https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4001182558489434626
               

               

              T-STEM Academy Designation Overview
              and Technical Assistance

              The webinar provides an opportunity to learn about the T-STEM Academy designation requirements including benefits and application requirements. An overview of the online designation system will be provided.

              Who Should Attend

              • Representatives of designated T-STEM Academies
              • Districts and charter schools planning on applying for T-STEM designation
                  
              For assistance completing the application: 
              • The current 103 designated T-STEM Academies may contact their T-STEM coaches and should incorporate information from the self-assessment conducted in 2016. 
              • New applicants may contact tstem@tea.texas.gov.
               

              Sincerely,

              Monica Martinez
              Associate Commissioner
              Standards and Programs