Paul Tytler, Principal
Grade level: 6–12
Free and Reduced Meals: 56.3%
Year school began to implement innovative practices: 2008
TAF Academy is a 6th-12th grade Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) public school with an interdisciplinary project-based learning (PBL) approach. Co-managed by TAF and the Federal Way Public School District, it is the only partner school in Washington State. Since 2008, we’ve hosted funders and schools from districts near and far interested in seeing how we help students realize greater academic success. TAF Academy has used the following core underpinnings for our innovative model for STEM education, and meeting the social, emotional, and academic needs of our students:
Leading for Learning and Building Relationships – The success of our model begins with our commitment to lead learning—from providing high quality instruction to supporting ongoing embedded professional development as a learning community. Our small school model allows teachers to build strong relationships with students as well as with each other providing a foundation for meaningful student and collegial learning.
Interdisciplinary Curriculum – PBL allows students to experience a process of inquiry in response to a “real-world” question, problem, or challenge. Projects integrate subject areas creating holistic learning. Public quarterly exhibitions build communication and critical thinking skills and provide an alternative approach to assess student learning.
STEM Integration – STEM education is more than just an acronym or a learning theme. It’s also about the processes utilized in those fields and establishing a culture of problem-solving. We engage students with STEM professionals and activities, both on and off-campus, to learn this hands-on.
Education Technology and College/Career Readiness– Technology is a tool used by teachers and students to learn, create content, find information, and express ideas. Operating software and technologies is key in today’s colleges and universities, and workplace. We also help students become college aware, eligible, and prepared through fairs, site visits to businesses and organizations, job shadows, and internships.