Washington STEAM Goes Virtual in Recruiting
Wide-ranging academy offers “Virtual Game Day” for prospective students
When exactly will PUSD students once again tread the halls, crowd the classrooms and stages, and cross the playing fields at their local campuses?
This is what the PUSD website says: “The state mandate addresses safe in-person school based on local health data, requirements of masks/face covering, physical distancing, testing, rigorous distance learning, and the criteria for schools to close when a member of our school community tests positive for COVID-19. As state and local guidelines continue to evolve, and as we incorporate feedback from the Board and our stakeholders, adjustments will be made to PUSD’s reopening plan.”
Meaning, it could be a while. But that doesn’t mean students aren’t active and eager to participate in school activities.
According to Jason Trapp, special assignment teacher at Washington STEAM Multilingual Academy, the school is trying to bridge the online learning virtual gap by developing a new virtual space for prospective fifth grade students and current Washington students, to interact and make new connections.
As Trapp explained, “This is really just for the fifth graders to be able to see some familiar faces at their potential middle-school choice. Normally in a regular school year, we have what’s called a shadow day program. So any prospective student can come to Washington and follow a student around campus so they can see what life is like in the day of a Washington Bear.”
Trapp also acknowledged that in “learning through a virtual environment, a lot of really important social interactions and peer relationships aren’t quite the same.”
So the school has come up with a Virtual Game Day, scheduled for Monday, November 2, at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, November 2nd. Students can sign up for not only the game day, but for upcoming campus tours, as well, and parents can sign up for Parent Coffees.
“We want to have prospective students learn organically about what it’s like to be at Washington,” Trapp explained further. “About what it’s like to be a middle-schooler at Washington.”
“So in addition to being able to interact and play a fun game,” Trapp said, “we hope that those prospective students will come with some questions for our current students.”
Trapp said he hopes those questions and conversations happen “organically,” even in the virtual online environment.
“We do a lot of outreach in terms of presenting the PTA and formal tours, but I really think there’s a lot of perspective to be gained by students and families who are looking at choosing Washington by organic, peer to peer interactions,” he said.
In terms of a larger picture at Washington STEAM, Trapp is high on the school’s wide range of opportunities for new and prospective middle school students.
“We have so many incredible, learning opportunities,” he offered. “The diverse programming options include everything from Honors track, to dual language Spanish.”
Washington is also a STEAM magnet school, which, translated from PUSD parlance, means an emphasis on science, technology, engineering, arts, and math.
“We also have Glee and Band and Orchestra, in terms of our performing arts programs,” Trapp added. “There are just so many things that we are very proud of at Washington.”
Washington STEAM Multilingual Academy, 1505 N. Marengo Ave., Pasadena, (626) 396-5830 or visit www.pusd.us/washingtonms.