Why Choose Santiago STEAM Magnet? What is Project Based Learning?

What is STEAM? What does it mean to be a STEAM Magnet School?

Please visit our school’s official Website to see our schools Vision, Mission, Guiding Principals and Core Beliefs:

Santiago STEAM Magnet Elementary School – Guiding Principals


What is Project Based Learning?

Please visit our school’s official Website to see definition of Project Based Learning, and the Sample Units for each grade level:

Santiago STEAM Magnet Elementary School – Project Based Learning


How is Project Based Learning implemented at Santiago?

Over the course of a PBL Unit, your student will encounter various components such as:
1.    Exploration of the topic, real-world applications, and related careers.
2.    Art activities related to the topic encouraging creativity.
3.    Science activities related to the topic encouraging generation of questions, exploration, and revisions to thinking
4.    Construction Engineering activities related to the topic encouraging building design techniques with various materials and problem solving.
5.    Exploring uses of new technology such as robotics, coding, presentation tools, video production, and more
6.    Assessments and tasks that evaluate student proficiency toward mastering the grade level standards being taught through the project
7.    A live or virtual connection to an Expert in the topic or related industry to enhance an experience, feedback, or real-world connections
8.    Creation of project teams across the grade level, encouraging collaboration and teamwork skills, to create a solution to a real-world problem.
9.    Creation of a Final Deliverable, which is a project that encompasses the knowledge they have learned through the unit.
10. Presentation of a final project to the public – at one of our three Ignite Nights – where parents and community members are encouraged to review and provide valuable feedback to students.

With a solid implementation, PBL creates life-long learners who never stop questioning the world around them. This reinforces valuable skills of critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, communication, and creativity. exploration with trial and error, teamwork skills, and presentation skills.

Un-Homework Policy

NOTE: Due to the Hybrid/Distance Learning Models in Place due to COVID19, students are not able to spend the necessary number of instructional minutes on campus and will be asked to complete all or a portion of their assignments at home during this unprecedented time.

At Santiago STEAM, all work will be completed in the classroom during school hours.  There will not be any required homework assignments that will impact your students grade.

Instead of Homework, family time and other enrichment activities are encouraged. Students have access to login to ST Math from home – an online learning system that advances the student through engaging Math activities demonstrating the math skills expected to be learned at the grade level. Students who complete all levels for their grade will receive a certificate and gain access to more challenging levels.

Does the Project Focus allow for all Subjects to be Covered? What is included in a standard week?

While the PBL Unit provides a focus to learn about real-world issues, there are many other time blocks set aside each week to practice and learn new skills or focus on a specific subject. Teachers assess regularly and keep track of each students progress toward showing independent mastery of each skill in the state standards. In the course of an average week, your student will likely encounter the following time blocks:

  1. A visit to our school library to check out a book to return the following week.
  2. Physical Education activities and games on the field with our P.E. instructors
  3. Music Class with our 2 music teachers (K-2 learn basic music skills. 3rd graders will begin using the recorder. 4-6 Graders will have option to play another instrument in Strings or Band) At most other SVUSD schools, music instruction does not begin until 4th grade
  4. Social Emotional Lesson from the Second Step Program focusing on topics such as empathy.
  5. Reading Groups -each grade splits into leveled reading groups with students at a similar reading ability. One of our classroom or intervention teachers leads each group in targeted instruction at their level and buddy reading activities. This allows each student to be challenged at the level that is right for them. Similar to other SVUSD schools, Santiago has GATE (Gifted and Talented) clusters at each grade level. Testing for GATE begins in 2nd grade.
  6. Math Instruction and time to complete independent ST Math levels. ST Math software allows every student to advance at their own pace and adapts to the students skill level.
  7. Plenty of recess time. Our Kindergarten playground is gated, while our 1-6 graders enjoy a large open wooded area. 

How are Students Graded and Tested?

SVUSD no longer uses traditional A-F grades at the elementary level. Instead a simpler 1-4 score is presented on report cards and at Parent Teacher conferences to show how the student is progressing in reaching standards-based goals.

Students will receive feedback from teachers and peers during project presentations. Parent Teacher conferences occur twice during the year and may include the student so they can take an active part in setting and achieving their own academic goals.