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Why CAS?

Why Coral Academy of Science

Coral Academy of Science (CAS) is a tuition-free STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) public school of choice sponsored by the Washoe County School District.  

CAS provides a safe learning environment supported by a diverse community and a student body that is dedicated to a rigorous college preparatory curriculum.  CAS was established in 2000 with just over 50 students and a strong emphasis on science and math. In 2017 CAS was ranked #1 in Northern Nevada and # 2 in the state by US News & World Report. Additionally, CAS was awarded gold medal status by US News & World Report.

CAS is the largest charter school in Washoe County, serving over 1350 students from multiple municipalities and cities. The minority enrollment of CAS is 59.0% including American Indian/Alaska Native – .38%; Asian/Pacific Islander – 14.4; African-American – 2.8%; Hispanic – 31.8%; and multi-racial – 7.2%.  

Being a “choice” school, students attending CAS travel from as close as a few hundred yards to as far away as 50 miles to attend – all done without the use of district transportation.  CAS’s cohort graduation rate is 100% of the 2016,2017 and 2018. CAS has created a college preparatory culture which starts at our elementary campus and germinates throughout a child’s career during middle school and ripens at our high school and beyond.  The expectation at CAS, beginning from kindergarten, is not “Will you go to college?” but “Which college will you attend?”

CAS focuses on STEAM from the elementary grades, through middle school and continues this approach until graduation.  CAS proposes to further strengthen and expand this bond between grade levels by partnering with Project Lead the Way (PLTW) to provide curriculum, materials, computers and professional development.   PLTW provides transformative learning experiences for K-12 students and teachers across the U.S. PLTW creates an engaging, hands-on classroom environment and empowers students to develop in-demand knowledge and skills they need to thrive.  PLTW also provides teachers with the training, resources, and support they need to engage students in real-world situations.

By focusing on STE(Art – Athletics)M and utilizing consistent programs such as PLTW and Springboard CAS creates a seamless transition through all grades to support our college-bound culture.

Coral Academy of Science Objectives

Improving Learning

Coral Academy of Science will provide students, educators and parents with the opportunity to experience an innovative system of public education. It is our goal to improve the learning of all students for academic success in their further education. This will enable students to keep open a broad spectrum of options for their future endeavors to prepare them to be responsible and productive citizens, and, by extension, to improve the systems of public education in Nevada.  To do this, we have designed a unique educational program that revolves around our commitment to the mission that all children have an inherent curiosity and love of learning and can reach their highest potential in core academic subjects if a partnership is created with the student-teacher-parent/guardian triad.  CAS believes that addressing students’ successes and failures are equally important for students’ growth.  Thought and expression develop out of experience. Learning should nurture a sense of caring for other people and the environment.  Learning should be fun.

Teaching Methods

Cooperative learning will be integral and essential to all learning experience at CAS.  Success will be measured at the group level as well as the individual level. Goal setting is another strategy that will be used in the classroom. Students will be expected to write long-term and short-term goals for every aspect of their lives.  Goals will be evaluated for every activity throughout the day.

Students will participate in lesson utilizing individualized and classroom settings based on Nevada academic content standards and strategies.

By using a multi-sensory approach to learning students will be provided opportunities to learn through auditory, visual, tactile, and kinesthetic activities.  Students will be guided through the process of determining which learning style is best suited to their needs.

Student Assessment

CAS provides appropriate measures for, and assessments of the learning achieved by pupils who are enrolled in its program. Students are assessed by classroom exams as well as state mandated exams. in addition, our students participate in ACT, AP, PSAT and SAT exams.

MAP tests are used three times a year to measure student growth as well as for screening purposes for MTSS. Interventions are based on student needs and their progress is measured with various assessments, such as AimsWeb in Reading and Math.

Professional Opportunities

By their very nature, charter public schools create new roles and professional opportunities for educators.  CAS’s educators recognize they are a vital part of the school’s mission. Educators and students helped to shape the school’s vision and actively participated in the school’s creation  Most importantly, staff and faculty act as mentors and facilitators of learning to all the children enrolled at CAS.