In November 2018, CREEED awarded Canutillo Middle School a grant to support expansion of the school’s science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) curricula over the next five years. The grant provides more students access to GameSalad, a nationally-recognized program that teaches computer science and design skills.
GameSalad helps students understand the basics of computer science, including logic-based thinking and problem-solving, without requiring them to write code. The initiative is expected to increase the number of students on a STEM pathway by three- to four-fold in the coming years. District administrators also anticipate that it will lead to continued improvements in math STAAR exam results, expand the number of students eligible for dual-credit courses, and increase the number of students who graduate from Canutillo High School ready for college.
In 2017, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) designated Canutillo Middle School as a Texas Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (T-STEM) academy. Canutillo High School has held the same T-STEM designation since 2015, making the District one of a handful in Texas to have a T-STEM track for grades six to twelve.
Under the multi-year grant, all sixth graders entering Canutillo Middle School in fall 2018 have access to GameSalad, and the school will train additional teachers and purchase additional licenses to expand the GameSalad course to 7th grade students in the 2019- 2020 school year and to 8th grade students in the 2020-2021 school year.
As part of this effort, Canutillo Middle School projects that 6th grade students can show a 2% increase (71%) in Meets and a 2% increase (42%) in Masters after full implementation of GameSalad for one school year. It is projected that with continued use of the GameSalad Computer Science pathway, Meets and Masters scores will continue to increase by a minimum of 2% year over year over the next five (5) years.
Such academic goals will also increase Algebra I enrollment, with the expectation that at least 33% of the 8th grade class of 2020-2021 will enroll in 8th grade Algebra and achieve at an 80% Master level rate. Canutillo Middle School anticipates an increase of a minimum of 2% per year, such that the 8th grade class of 2024-2025 will achieve 43% enrollment in Algebra I.
Such outcomes will advance the expansion of High Performing Seats within Canutillo ISD and elevate an ever growing number of students to a "College Ready" academic standard that will meet 60 x 30 El Paso objectives, but more importantly, convert the Canutillo ISD into a College Ready District for student academic performance.