Welcome to the Okaloosa STEMM Academy
Student’s fourth grade FCAT scores are reviewed. A Level 5 in Math with a Level 4 or 5 in Reading qualifies a student to receive an invitation to apply to the Okaloosa STEMM Academy to attend as a sixth grader. An essay from the student and an essay reflecting support from the parent accompany the completed student registration for enrollment consideration. Students in Okaloosa, Walton and Santa Rosa county are invited to apply.
Sixth grade curricula include World Cultures Advanced, M/J Language Arts Advanced, M/J Math 2 Advanced (Pre-Algebra), and Earth/Space Science Honors . Electives are year-long Research, one semester computer class and one semester Physical Education class.
Seventh grade curricula will include Civics Advanced & Career Planning, M/J Language Arts Advanced, Algebra 1 Honors, M/J Life Science Advanced. Electives are year-long Research, one semester Critical Thinking & Problem Solving Strategies and one semester Physical Education class.
Eighth grade curricula will include United States History Advanced, M/J Language Arts, Geometry Honors and Physical Science Honors. Electives are Research, M/J Strategies and Computer Applications in Science and Engineering.
All texts are electronic and available through the internet. OSA students use hand-held devices to access assignments and grades via Edmodo, an educational communicative Internet-based website. Each year all OSA students will participate in the annual Science Fair. Selected projects will go on to compete in the Regional Science & Engineering Fair. A current library card is required to participate in our Language Infusion program.
Student Dress and Appearance Code
The purpose of the dress and appearance (uniform dress code) is to enhance school safety, maintain school discipline, promote attention to detail, and instill community values. It is not intended to inhibit legitimate student expression. Parents are expected to be the primary monitors of the uniform policy. Please help us by ensuring your child is in uniform each day. Uniforms are to be worn from the first day of school in August until the final day of classes in June, unless parents are otherwise notified.
- Only approved uniform items will be worn to school and school activities. Our school uniform provider is Lands’ End Uniforms – school number 900158643. Please remember that the required uniform is the embroidered polo (cobalt) and a pair of the pants (khaki) for every day. All other available uniform pieces are optional and may be worn throughout the year.
- Head-gear including (but not limited to) hats, visors, dude rags, toboggans, hoods, caps, and sunglasses, may not be brought to school or worn during the school day.
- Students are required to wear shoes that are safe, non-distracting, and appropriate for school: sturdy, fully-enclosed, non-skid shoes are required. Shoes should be solid black, brown, or navy with a black or brown sole. Solid white or black tennis shoes are acceptable. Shoes need to be secured via laces, Velcro, buckle, or sturdy strap for safety.
- Clothing, accessories, buttons, jewelry, or tattoos that depict vulgarity, offensive images, or prohibited substances including (but not limited to) drugs, alcohol, or tobacco, will not be allowed.
- School uniform items will be worn as prescribed. Undergarments must not be exposed at any time (skin may not show at any time, front or back, while standing, sitting, arms raised, etc.) Solid red, white, navy or black tights/socks are acceptable. NO nylons/panty hose.
- The minimum length of clothing (shorts, skirts, skorts, etc.) should approach the KNEECAP within 3 inches. (Waistbands should not be rolled-up for shortening purposes.) Khaki uniform pants/shorts must be classic: no cargo styles are permitted.
- Pants, skirts and/or shorts that sag below the waistline or must be held in place with the hands are not allowed.
- Hair must be neat and clean at all times and hairstyles must not interfere with a student’s vision. Extreme tastes in hairstyles or hair colors are not permitted.
- Due to safety considerations, heavy chains, pointed jewelry, body piercing jewelry, or other items or accessories that are readily adaptable for use as a weapon will be prohibited. Jewelry should be simple and not interfere with school activity requirements.
- Accessories, and buttons or jewelry that contain vulgar, lewd, obscene, offensive images, or that may lead to substantial interference with school activities are prohibited.
- In the event that the school identifies items of clothing, accessories, buttons, or jewelry that are not set forth in this dress code, but are inappropriate or unsafe, the school may prohibit such items. Any form of dress or grooming which is distractive or disruptive will not be permitted.
Uniform checks will be conducted and disciplinary action will be taken if necessary. Persistent violations will result in progressive disciplinary action. Final decisions regarding hygiene and appropriate dress will be left to the discretion of the director and/or director’s designee.
Curriculum In Action
Students will participate in CIA activities (aka field trips) to locations such as the Planetarium in Pensacola, the Naval Museum at NAS Pensacola and the Destin Water Treatment Plant. These CIAs will be during school hours and will be chaperoned in accordance with Okaloosa School District policy.
At this time, hub stops provide transportation to and from OSA. These stops are determined by the students who utilize this service and the availability of a loading location. Currently, hub stops are located at Southside Center in Crestview, Ocean City ES site in Fort Walton, with Bluewater ES and Destin MS serving the central county area.
Currently breakfast and lunch at OSA are provided via a vending machine through Sodexo. These machines are inspected twice a day for service and freshness. Microwaves are provided to heat entrees if desired. Sodexo provides a hot-served optional meal to students the third Thursday of each month. Plans for the 2013-14 school year include breakfast by vending machine and a hot lunch serving line.
After School Activities
OSA students may travel to Lewis School (via bus each afternoon) to participate or parents may provide their students transportation to their zoned school to participate.
Engineers For America is an educational partnership between the Okaloosa School District and the Air Force Armament Museum. Teachers attend training in the summer and bring their students in grades 4, 5, 6, 7 to the STEMM Center to perform "sorties." These STEM experiments were written in alignment with the Florida Sunshine State Standards and have received national and state recognition.
The Center for STEMM Innovation is located at the STEMM Center as a teacher training facility. Math and Science coaches offer workshops to help teachers further incorporate Common Core Standards and STEM in daily lesson plans, to provide a more in-depth understanding of SSS benchmarks as well as offer professional development through FLDOE, textbook companies, etc.
The Okaloosa STEMM Center also is home to the Doolittle Institute’s Innovative Dimensions Lab, a non-profit 503c organization. Soon to be in operation, the IDL will offer teacher workshops directed towards virtual reality, 3-D proto-typing and more. This organization also is the home of the Mini-Urban Challenge, a robotics problem-based competition project.
Guests to OSA
We have visiting speakers each week from the fields of engineering, aviation (both military and commercial), combat, and many more to numerous to list. Students get a capsule insight into the various fields to whet their interests for their own future.
The Okaloosa STEMM Academy has made great strides in its first year in operation. The Okaloosa School Board, various grants, tireless volunteers, and generous sponsors have made this possible. Many thanks to each and every one for supporting STEM education and the Okaloosa STEMM Academy.
Just to name a few . . .
- The Boeing Corporation
- Air Force Research Lab
- Gulf Power
- Gulf Coast Office Products
- CPO Science
- LEGO / Pitsco
- Florida’s Governor Scott
- Senator Don Gaetz