The purpose of the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) program is to improve student achievement, increase educational opportunities, ensure student preparation for success in college and careers, and ease the challenges military dependent students have due to transitions and deployments. http://dodk12grants.org/
Last year DoDEA awarded Vista La Mesa Academy a grant in the amount of $361,856.00 for the submitted project, “Full STEM Ahead”. This project is focused on improving student achievement in math and science in grades 5-8.
Since the start of the award period Vista La Mesa Academy principal, Dr. Bonita DeAmicis, has invested time, energy, and grant funds to improve classroom instruction by providing extensive professional development to staff and scheduling collaboration time for teachers. Classrooms in grades 4-8 have been equipped with wireless Internet connectivity, 1:1 student to computer laptop ratio, a classroom on wheels charging and storage station, and classroom management software.
Students in grades 6 and 8 will receive nine weeks of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)instruction through the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) program this year. The PLTW program will expand to 18 weeks of instruction and include grades 5 and 7 next year. Project Lead The Way is the nation's leading provider of STEM programs. “Through world-class K-12 curriculum, high-quality teacher professional development, and outstanding partnerships, PLTW is helping students develop the skills needed to succeed in the global economy.” https://www.pltw.org/
Ongoing extension activities with the USS Midway, Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, and Mad Science include classroom assemblies with visiting scientists, field trips, and Family Science Nights.
Vista La Mesa Academy is proud of the partnership with the Department of Defense and thrilled to provide these educational opportunities to our students and their families.
Hello Cheetah Family and Friends!
2013-14 was a great year at Vista La Mesa Academy! 2014-15 will be even better!
VLMA is a special place and I feel very lucky to have arrived here as principal. The staff is a strong group of dedicated educational professionals who put children first every day. The parents and families are a wonderful group of caring people who look out for children and our school. We have terrific diversity that mirrors the fabric of our state and country, and a strong military family population that reinforces our school theme of service and contribution.
Some highlights of our 2013-14 year include:
· 8th graders learning about the Holocaust followed by a trip to the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles,
· 1st graders studying Australian animals followed by a trip to the San Diego Zoo,
· Three Fabulous Science Fun Nights led by the RH Fleet Science Center,
· Primary class visits to our own community garden with pumpkins the size of basketballs,
· A Charger Day visit to our school with physical events for every middle school child,
· Kaiser nutrition workshops for all of our 4th grade children and families,
· Mileage Club participation every morning,
· Summer Seminar—our leadership summer program for middle school students
· Over 4,634 volunteer hours spent helping our school and students!
In addition, Cheetah students accomplished some special feats:
· 65% of VLMA 8th grade students tested placed in algebra or geometry at Helix High School, and 69% of those students placed in Geometry—the highest possible math.
· 85% of VLMA 8th grade students tested placed in honors ELA courses at Helix High School, and 65% of those students placed in Advanced Writing Honors English--the highest possible ELA.
· 60% of the VLMA students tested placed in the level 3-4 Spanish Class at Helix High School.
· VLMA teams won two 1st place, two 2nd place and two 3rd place awards at MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, and Science Achievement) competition at San Diego State University,
· VLMA took 15 students to the Regional MESA Competition in Orange where 1 student won 2nd place at Regional MESA in the Non Delegate Math competition
Important Changes to Know
Minimum and Modified Day Schedules--This year our district will be working hard to help our teachers be the best they can be! Ten special Professional Development modified days are now part of our school calendar:
8:45 AM - 2:00 PM 1st Grade Field Trip to Sea World
8:45 AM - 2:45 PM Grades 6 & 7 Field Trip to Admiral Baker Field
8:00 AM - 6:30 PM 8th Grade Field Trip to Knotts Berry Farms