Metropolitan Business Academy is a magnet school with a business focus. Our school currently has approximately 400 students enrolled; however, each grade is not made up of 100 students at this time because the program is still growing. There are roughly 95 students in the senior class and 110 students in the freshmen class. Because we are a magnet school, half of our students (as intended) come from urban districts (in this case, New Haven), and half come from surrounding suburban districts (such as Branford, East Haven, North Haven, Wallingford, and West Haven). Currently, sixty percent of our students are from New Haven and forty percent are from suburban districts within a thirty-mile radius. Our school is made up of forty percent Hispanic/Latino students, forty percent African American students, and twenty percent Caucasian or other (mostly Asian) students. Every year our school becomes a little more diverse.
In our school, there are four pathways that students can choose from at the end of their ninth grade year. The pathways include: allied health & science, law & political science, digital media & technology, and finance. Every student must enroll in one pathway, but students may take courses outside of their pathway as an elective if there is room in the class. In robotics, most of the students are in the technology pathway, but I also have students who take it as an elective. This particular robotics course is for juniors and seniors who have already taken Algebra 1 and Geometry, and students who have taken or are currently enrolled in Algebra 2 and Chemistry. These classes will help with this unit in understanding the chemistry behind batteries.
Our school is moving towards Mastery Learning. A large part of our evaluation process and rubric in the technology department comes from the 21st Century Competency.
Problem solving and Critical Thinking
Accessing and Analyzing Information
Communication and Collaboration
Creativity and Innovation
Initiative, Self-Direction and Accountability
Citizenship and Responsibility
Each Competency is broken down into a Performance Continuum which rates the student from Novice, Emerging, Competent, to Exemplary. Students must be rated as competent or higher to move onto the next level. Whether the next level is the next unit or the sequential class to follow, such as moving from English 1 to English 2.
The rubrics can be found New Haven Public Schools website with a detailed explanation of each competency and a description of each performance continuum. Seniors must present a senior portfolio which will show Exemplary pieces of work that they have completed throughout their high school career in each one of the 21st Century Competency.