Delta is a public high school in the Tri-Cities and is one of the first STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics)-focused high schools in the state of Washington. It is designed to develop students highly literate in STEM fields, and it is appealing to students who seek a small-school approach to learning, where academic subjects are connected, and where students engage in learning beyond the school walls.
In 2006, several organizations – with a collective opinion that engaged, well-educated citizens can advance the health and well-being of our community, the state of Washington, and our nation – came together in a partnership with the purpose of establishing a STEM-focused high school in the Tri-Cities. The founding partners included the Kennewick, Pasco and Richland School Districts, Battelle, Columbia Basin College and Washington State University Tri-Cities.
This number of students has proven to work well to personalize schools. Highly personalized learning within the small school model is a core attribute of the Delta High School. This model focuses on a small learning community, emphasizing individual student and faculty interaction. Each student’s progress is individually assessed and addressed and personalized graduation plans are unique to the student’s strengths, interests, and areas of growth.
The school is located at CBC’s Richland campus, which underwent significant renovations in 2009 and 2010.
State funding follows each student from their home school districts. These funds cover a majority of operating costs. Additionally, dozens of local and regional organizations and individuals under the auspices of the Washington State STEM Education Foundation have provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding and in-kind donations to support major building renovations, and to provide computers, furniture and laboratory equipment. The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and state of Washington have also provided grants to the school.
Yes. While Delta’s first graduating class won’t graduate until June 2013, and Delta cannot guarantee a student will be accepted by a particular college or university, it is a school goal to produce students who are college- and work-ready upon graduation. To this end, school courses and curriculum are designed to make sure Delta graduates will be able to attend college and be successful once there. Delta students may even be able to take college courses as upperclassmen. Additionally, when officials at colleges and universities in the United States evaluate applicants, they consider the context of the applicant’s background, including the high school that student attended. As a result, most high schools develop a school profile that describes the school through academic information (courses offered, grading system, etc.), school and community demographics. Delta students will work with teachers to develop a complete and accurate School Profile for Delta High School so that colleges and universities may best understand how Delta has prepared students for college level studies. Finally, Washington State University Tri-Cities has offered to work with Delta students to assure they meet qualifications for admission to the university.
STEM – which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – is a national education movement designed to create critical thinking skills across disciplines, prepare students for science and math courses in college, and help communities and the nation stay competitive in a global economy. Evidence shows these schools and programs produce graduates with a deeper knowledge and a stronger passion for learning, particularly science and math, and that translates into much higher rates of college attendance and more students majoring in scientific and technical fields.
Students in 9th and 10th grades earn credit in mathematics, science, technology and engineering, English, and social studies. Courses are based on state standards.
The school’s education framework, which includes a program of study, curriculum and classes, was created by teams comprised of local education and science professionals, and national STEM education consultants. As a result, students can expect to receive an education that is dynamic, relevant, and has rigorous courses. They will engage in learning experiences that connect academics to each other and to the world around them. All core academic subjects are taught, including social studies and English, and students will meet state and local graduation requirements upon completion of high school.
Delta and their partners are working on alternative solutions to insure that students are able to meet all high school graduation requirements.
PE is a graduation requirement for each of the participating districts. Each district has a plan for all students to meet this requirement.
World language is not a high school graduation requirement in any of the participating school districts. It is, however, a college entrance requirement. For our college bound students, we are working to arrange college-level world language courses that will offer dual high school and college credit.
Art credit is required for graduation in all of the participating school districts. A junior-level multimedia arts class is being planned for students to meet their art requirement in a way that blends art and technology.
Yes. Delta’s planners envision students culminating their time at the school with research and internships at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, WSU Tri-Cities, Columbia Basin College, and other science and technology based firms in the area. Students also take part in numerous outside-the-classroom experiences throughout the first three years.
The teachers are employed by the Kennewick, Pasco and Richland School Districts and meet state certification requirements.
Students living in the Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland School Districts may attend Delta. Its innovative, relevant programs appeal to self-motivated, responsible students who seek a more personalized, small-school approach to learning, where academic subjects are connected, and where students engage in learning beyond the school walls.
Delta is designed to provide a more personalized education to a broad spectrum of students, and the education students receive will be transferable across all disciplines and to all professions. Regardless of what professional field students enter, Delta recognizes the nation requires a technically literate citizenry that can effectively navigate an increasingly technological world, and make wise choices on complex issues ranging from climate change to health care.
The school attempts to match the demographics of the Tri-Cities and its three public school districts.
The percentage of seats allotted to Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland School District students reflects the size of each of the districts. Students apply to the program and if more students are interested than there are slots available, a lottery system is used.
No. Students will receive a diploma from their home school.
The three school districts provide transportation using their existing bus and transport systems.
Presently, the school is planned for students living in the Pasco, Richland, and Kennewick School Districts. The option for considering students from other districts may be explored later.
Most extracurricular activities – including sports, and visual and performing arts – are not offered at Delta, but students may participate in those offered by their school of origin, if scheduling allows. Delta students may have to make special arrangements to participate in extracurricular activities at their schools of origin if those activities conflict with the schedule at Delta.
At Delta, we have robust clubs and activities that involve all students. We have semi-formal dances, community networking events, technology competitions, student government, chess club, student newspaper, science competitions, social outings, service projects, and will work on developing a link crew.
Freshman and sophomore students must remain on campus for lunch. Junior and senior students may leave campus for lunch if they return safely and on time.
Yes, the student run newspaper is called The Tangent.
Yes. As with extracurricular activities, Delta students may participate in social events offered by their school of origin, if scheduling allows. Delta students have started to plan and provide their own versions of these traditional activites. We have hosted students from other high schools at our social events.