About STEAM at MCAA
Marietta Center for Advanced Academics (MCAA) is a nationally recognized program that provides students with an advanced academic experience with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering, art, and math. MCAA has developed STEAM units that emphasize an interdisciplinary, thematic concept that helps students connect the state standards to real-world applications and professions. As a recognized school of advanced students, with gifted-certified teachers, MCAA provides a data–driven curriculum that encourages students to excel in areas when they are ready. We also have unique programs such as competitive clubs, Math Movement, Arts Now integration, and House Challenges.
MCAA is a model STEAM program and invites visitors, educators, and leaders throughout Georgia, and beyond, to come learn with us during tours and professional learning sessions. The school also maintains numerous relationships and partnerships with businesses, academic institutions, and the Marietta Business Association. The partnerships help MCAA create a culture and curriculum that is Above the Line. In doing so, we ensure that all students are prepared for the journeys that await them after their time here. We are proud of our flagship partnerships with the US Department of Defense, Six Flags/White Water, the Georgia Aquarium, the Georgia Farm Bureau, Mc Donald's, Arts Now, and the Marietta Schools Foundation.
- National Blue Ribbon School (US Department of Education)
- First STEM Certified School in the State of Georgia
- Platinum Level of Achievement in the State of Georgia
- Georgia School of Excellence
- Cognia STEM School
- Title I Distinguished School in the State of Georgia
MCAA is a STEAM magnet school located in Marietta, Georgia. The school has been a pillar of excellence in the community since 1991. Our school serves 312 students from grades three through five. In addition to the four academic content areas, students are offered Specials classes in art, music, innovation (technology), and physical education.
We are proud of the diversity in our school. Our population consists of 19% Hispanic students, 40% white students, 10% Asian students, 22% African American students, and 9% multiracial students. Over the last four years, our demographics have changed due to an adjustment in our application process. Before 2019, students were required to score a 75% or higher in math and reading on our district aptitude test (MAP). Also, once qualified, families were required to stand in line on a given date to secure a spot at the school. In 2019 the process was changed to be more equitable in our district. The current process in located on our website.
MCAA is a model program for advanced academics in Marietta City Schools. Specifically, 64% of our students are identified as gifted. In addition, we are proud that 11% of our students have Individual Education or 504 Plans. The different learning abilities promotes acceptance and respect among one another. The students are served by twelve homeroom teachers who are gifted certified, three gifted-only teachers, and specials teachers. 90% of our staff have advanced degrees. In addition, MCAA has three counselors to develop and support the students socially and emotionally.
Vision, Mission, & Values
The vision of MCAA is to be an innovative model of STEAM education. We work endlessly to implement cutting-edge advancements in STEAM. Teachers are provided with professional learning opportunities in STEAM content areas and deliver pertinent information to their students and other professionals. We recognize that there are multiple models of STEAM education, and we are proud of the way we focus on innovation and expansion of what has been in place at MCAA for over ten years.
The mission of MCAA is to provide a safe and positive culture where students apply collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity as members of a diverse learning community. Our homeroom classes are divided into Houses. Since there are four classrooms in each grade level, the Houses are: House of Collaboration, House of Communication, House of Critical Thinking, and House of Creativity. We teach the students what each of the four C's mean and develop those soft skills of STEAM through intentional conversations and expectations. The students learn that you can't have STEAM without the four C's, the same way that you can't have a complete grade level without each House.
The students and staff have fun with the Houses as well. There are challenges that lead to Houses earning badges and the House with the most badges at the end of each quarter earns a reward.
The core values at MCAA were defined and delivered by the school leadership team, consisting of representation from each department. We value communication and collaboration with all stakeholders, a safe environment that is engaging and challenging, a positive culture that supports and affirms our diverse community with unique and innovative learning opportunities.
MCAA is nationally known for their STEAM journey and achievements. In 2010, MCAA was the first school in Georgia to earn STEM certification from the state. In 2015 the state certification was renewed, and the school earned AdvancEd STEM certification. Over the past twenty years, there has been a goal in the school improvement plan that is related to STEAM growth and advancements. Teachers participate in Professional Learning Communities to create STEAM units that have real-world connections and intentional partnerships. The current schedule at the school has a dedicated STEAM block on Fridays and other STEAM challenges are planned throughout the week in individual classrooms.
In addition, there are House Challenges planned three times a year. The House challenges are written in collaboration with the school counselors and ASCA (American School Counselor Association) standards are used in these units. MCAA business and community partners support STEAM by providing speakers, resources, professional learning, and lessons when appropriate. As the STEAM units are written, careful consideration is given to have speakers and experiences that showcase under-represented populations in STEAM, specifically females and minorities. STEAM decisions are made by the leadership team, alongside the STEAM Steering Committee, School Governance Team, and Parent Teacher Association. STEAM is showcased during STEAM Showcase days/nights, in the Principal Weekly newsletter, and throughout the halls is specially designed STEAM shadowboxes.
The school has numerous clubs and competitive teams as well. STEAM unit planning and professional learning is completed by all staff members and is cross-curricular in focus. The teachers share leadership opportunities when guiding the sessions and collaborate on all aspects of the trainings. The results of an annual survey are used to determine professional learning needs based on their level of comfort and understanding in STEAM. There is continuous improvement implemented in the units through a self-reflection that students and staff complete. These surveys ensure that immediate feedback is given so changes can be made for future units. The reflections help teachers plan smarter and students work in a different manner as they work toward different solutions. The STEAM Steering Committee meets to review the four-year STEAM plan and check on goals met.