Individual Student Focus
The SIATech program is student-focused. Upon entry to the program, each student is individually assessed and evaluated to create an individualized learning plan. This plan acts as a road map for student goal setting and goal attainment. In order to ensure that the learning needs of each student are met, SIATech classes are small. In the small classroom setting, students receive extensive small group instruction and one-on-one attention. The SIATech curriculum is individually-paced so students can work at a pace and in a style that is appropriate for their learning needs. Life, social, and employability skills are important components of the students’ training. Student by student, SIATech works to transform “the whole child.”
Competency-Based Academic Program
SIATech specializes in students who have been out-of-school. It is an open entry and open exit program, which means that students enter the program and graduate from the program throughout the year. If a previous dropout is ready to re-enter school, SIATech believes it is critical that the student is able to enter school as soon as possible. However, this can be problematic for traditional school settings and often students must wait for a new semester or school year. At SIATech, the driving force behind the way to deal with several new students coming in and leaving every week is a competency-based approach to education.
A SIATech student works toward skills mastery. A competency-based approach is a major benefit to our students because it enables them to move at an accelerated, or slower, pace through the coursework. Rather than relying on a set number of hours in the classroom, SIATech students advance through the program after demonstrating skill mastery. The SIATech curriculum encompasses the same core subjects as traditional schools and is aligned with Common Core State Standards. Once students demonstrate subject mastery, they can move on to the next level of work in that subject.
The SIATech program is computer-assisted which results in students learning fundamental academic skills while improving their computer and technology skills. It also enhances the student’s capacity to take ownership of his or her learning. Rather than idly waiting for an instructor to answer his or her question, a student can access relevant and approriate academic resources in an effort to learn the answer independently. This lifelong learning skill is fundamental to success in the 21st century workplace and higher education.
College and Career Readiness
SIATech is college and career-oriented. The mission of SIATech is to provide students with Real Learning for Real Life™. SIATech is a school where students see the connection between what they learn and where it can take them. In order to keep students engaged and motivated, SIATech ties learning with jobs and their future economic opportunities.
Through the partnership with Job Corps and individualization of the curriculum, SIATech students can learn the student-based curriculum while gaining skills especially for their trade. So, if a student is learning carpentry, their math SIATech is career oriented and provides students with Real Learning for Real Life exercises that will help refine their measurement, geometry, and other math skills required for expert wood working.
SIATech students learn a host of industry-standard software programs as they progress through the curriculum which culminates in a senior portfolio. These programs include the Microsoft® Office Suite and the Adobe® Design and Web Standard Suites.
SIATech works with a low-income student population, and the program strives to create high school graduates who have 21st century skills, the academic knowledge, and the life skills to obtain and keep gainful employment as well as go on to higher education. We believe this is critical to breaking the cycle of poverty for our students.
SIATech’s caring staff is highly qualified and supported by exemplary professional development. SIATech emphasizes the importance of a caring adult in the lives of our students. Most SIATech students did not have educational support in their home environment growing up, and due to the structure of the classrooms, SIATech instructors are able to provide extra attention to each student.
All SIATech teachers are highly qualified and certificated in their core subject area. One of the most important initiatives stressed by SIATech is that every instructor and every staff member is a continuous learner. SIATech provides leadership training for every person in our organization. One of the strengths of SIATech is its professional development program that emphasizes strategies especially for working with at-risk students.
Professional development includes the New Staff Academy, subject-specific roundtables, an Induction program for teachers to earn their credential, and annual conferences that bring experts and are open to all educators working with at-risk students.
Fully-Accredited Charter High Schools
SIATech is a network of charter high schools. In California, SIATech schools are all WASC-accredited, and the charter is authorized by the Vista Unified School District.