St. Lucie Public Schools (SLPS) bears the distinction of receiving a sizeable federal Magnet School Assistance Program Grant (MSAP) valued at 12.5 million dollars. The District’s winning grant proposal will transform the historic Fort Pierce Magnet School of the Arts (FPMSA), Samuel S. Gaines Academy (SGA), and Fort Pierce Westwood High School (FPWHS).
All three schools will become Magnet Schools offering innovative programs. FPMSA and SGA will begin their transformation this August for the 2018-2019 school year as the revitalized, all-new Creative Arts Academy of St. Lucie (CAST) and Samuel S. Gaines Academy of Emerging Technologies respectively. FPWHS will begin infusing new programs in August with full implementation for the 2019-2020 school year.
Students are invited to join the “CAST” of The Creative Arts Academy of St. Lucie as the school begins its transformation and is revitalized into a true comprehensive Arts magnet. Programs will include dance, vocal and instrumental music, drama, musical theatre, and visual and graphic arts. Students will thrive academically and artistically in our performing and visual arts programs. These programs will develop and enhance the talents of students to realize their full potential as performers and artists. Student talents will be on full display for the community in many forums in the future.
In addition, the CAST campus is undergoing the addition of a new dance studio and a black box theatre along with remodeled classrooms for each art program. The historic auditorium will be upgraded with new state-of-the-art sound and lighting equipment to ensure top quality performances. Portable equipment will allow for lunchtime entertainment as well as outdoor theater and musical events such as monologue and one-act performances in the courtyard.
Samuel S. Gaines Academy of Emerging Technologies will be a STEM-based K-8 Magnet School, exposing students to skills needed for current and future jobs in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. New courses will expose students to computer coding, gaming, robotics, agri-technology, medicine, and augmented and virtual reality applications. The Technology, Agri-tech and Science/Medical course pathways promote an inquiry-based approach to learning through Innovation Labs, Design Challenge Studios and the use of emerging technologies made available through grant funds. Dedicated partnerships with industry leaders such as Microsoft will expose students and teachers to cutting edge-concepts and develop unique skills.
FPWHS students will be future ready. New Course pathways include Pre-med, Pharmacy Tech, and Technology/Computer Programming in addition to the existing Agri-technology, Veterinary Science and award-winning Marine Oceanographic Academy. Preparation for high demand and emerging careers such as data scientists will be at the forefront in Makerspaces that foster collaboration with immersive learning tools, analytic tools, and other technologies. A plethora of rigorous pre-collegiate and college level courses will be added and science labs will be upgraded and re-designed to ensure students are prepared for challenging careers in this increasingly digital global economy. As a 1:1 technology-based high school, it is an ideal candidate for a STEAM college/career program as they continue to build their partnerships with the local scientific community, including Indian River State College and Florida Atlantic University.
According to Chief Academic Officer Dr. Helen Wild, “All three schools will feature pre-collegiate course offerings.” She added, “All three will use cutting-edge concepts such as Makerspaces. Makerspaces bring together science, art, computers and building to allow students to create, experiment, mentor and to invent as they collaborate to solve problems. This is so exciting for our students. The grant also includes learning opportunities for teacher development through specialized training aligned to new programming and tools.”
Magnet school enrollment information will be available in March during the regular enrollment period. Please check www.stlucieschools.org for application timelines and updates.