Paradise Valley Engineering Academy is a learning community of students, staff, parents and professional educators who share the belief that all children can learn and should find joy in the discovery of knowledge. This is the fourth year of our Engineering focus implementation. At Paradise Valley Engineering Academy, we believe that a nurturing and supportive environment is key to meeting the needs of our students. We are a child-centered school, committed to preparing our diverse student population through technology integrated quality education with a focus on developing critical analytical skills using the Engineering Design Process. We strive to provide students the supports necessary to maximize their potential to help them become lifelong learners and positive contributors to our global society. Student demographics include: 12.9% English Learners; 0.4% Foster Youth; 2.2% Homeless; 1.1% Migrant; 13.8% Students with Disabilities; and 27% Socioeconomically Disadvantaged.
We believe in maintaining a strong partnership between parents, students, and teachers to ensure that all students develop the academic and social skills needed to achieve the high expectations set for them.
At Paradise Valley Engineering Academy, we provide a strong Common Core aligned, standards-based curriculum along with Project Based Learning (PBL) experiences. We believe that all of our students will be successful. Our staff works relentlessly to provide students with the most appropriate academic, project based learning experiences in all content areas. We have adopted a new Math curriculum - Envision Investigations and for English language Arts, we are exploring a district-wide adoption. We will continue our efforts on integrating the Engineering Design Process with project based learning in everyday learning to promote critical inquiry based, analytical learning among our students. We will also continue to support for our English learners within our differentiated (customized) language arts curriculum and through the use of technology tools. We also use technology resources, GLAD, and SDAIE strategies to enhance the access to the curriculum for all students particularly with focus on our EL population. Grade level teams plan, share pedagogies/ teaching strategies, and collaborate to provide students with enriching differentiated lessons that best support their learning styles.
The school facilities consists of three "hub" buildings and five portable classrooms. After the construction updates, the largest will contain the multipurpose room, Design Lab, kitchen facilities, speech classroom,, and Exploration Science Center. The secondary hub will contain the school administrative office and six classrooms. The third hub houses three classrooms and is adjacent to the portable classrooms which provide additional instructional space for the classrooms, Special Day Class, Library, and Resource Specialist.
Technology, Project Based Learning, and Engineering design process with a critical problem solving approach is a focus at our school and we are continually identifying ways in which it can strengthen our academic program for students. Teachers guide students through the use of Khan Academy, BrainPop, Reflex Math, IXL, Accelerated Reader, typing tools, and google apps for education. We have a state of the art Design lab which serves as a fabulous resource to provide students with project based learning activities. It has 5 interactive tables, two Promethean Activboards, along with chromebook accessibility for students to design robotics, conduct coding investigations. Within each classroom, teachers and students have access to Promethean ActivBoards as well as chromebook carts to increase the interactivity of learning. Document cameras also support this effort along with an increased use of computer stations within classrooms. Our Kindergarten- 4th grade classrooms share chromebook carts and our 5th graders have their own class set of chromebooks for use. Technology integration, hands-on inquiry, Project Based Learning, and critical analysis skills is a big focus at Paradise Valley Engineering Academy to develop global citizenship.
Last year, PVEA implemented a school-wide extended day program. Targeted students include 3rd through 5th grade students who are performing below grade level or didn’t have parental support at home to help with homework (along with our EL and F&R students). The ultimate goal is to help students be successful as they reviewed their classroom learning through homework practice. Students were not only offered homework assistance but also provided technology driven reading and Math support. Many other enrichment opportunities such as Lego Robotics Club, Google CS Coding Club , Chess Club, Running Club, Art Classes, Ceramics Class, Band, etc. were also offered for students who were interested. At our school, we believe in providing students opportunities that help with whole child development combining academics along with enrichment and sports. While activities vary from year to year pending availability and funding, we strive to provide a variety of on-campus learning experiences for all students. In the 2017-18 school year, about thirty 4th-5th graders participated in the Tech Museum Engineering Design Challenge. Teams applied their learning of the Engineering Design Process and their creativity to solve the design challenge that was posed by the Museum personnel. Two of our teams came back winning awards for their device. Our students have multiple extended opportunities on field trips to further enhance their educational and world learning experiences such as the Monterey Bay Aquarium field trip for 1st graders, Apple Farm field trip for the Kindergarteners, Science Camp for the 5th graders, Sacramento Assembly Field Trip for the 4th graders, etc.
PVEA’s Home and School Club also supports many of the enrichment opportunities for students and helps fundraise for school wide programs/ activities ucha s field trips, science camp, classroom supplies, etc. We believe in community building and our H&SC works collaboratively with school staff and administration as we offer movie nights, conduct the Panther Prowl walk-a-thon, Spell-a-Thon, School Festival, and many other fundraisers. We implement Project Cornerstone school wide and believe in building the 41 developmental assets in our school community through classroom readings, school wide fun activities, dance parties, art projects, acts of kindness and student leadership through the Expect Respect Program. Each classroom has a H&SC representative or a room parent, that works as a liaison between the classroom parents and the H&SC.