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TAF (Technology Access Foundation) 

Description

TAF was founded in 1996 to help reduce the opportunity gap in education and bring more youth of color to STEM-related disciplines and careers. We serve students in a diverse region of South King County, where 66% of students are students of color, 58% of students are low-income, there are 167 different primary languages and 16% of students are English Language Learners.

Our programs have seen most of their graduates to college, and many of those have since returned to their communities as invested, articulate role models and leaders. Today, TAF is a valued partner with public education, providing a quality education to students in grades K-12.

 TAF’s partner school TAF Academy – a STEM focused public school for grades 6 -12 --is at the center of our work. All best practices from TAF Academy are replicated through our work transforming public schools into STEM schools using the STEMbyTAF pedagogy and our STEM Institute where we teach public school educators how to deliver the STEMbyTAF pedagogy in their own schools.

TAF also offers STEM Up, a fee for service, after school enrichment program focused on robotics and programming.
Mission Statement
Technology Access Foundation (TAF) equips students of color for success in college and life through the power of a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education. 
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TAF (Technology Access Foundation)
605 SW 108th St 
Seattle 
WA
98146 
(206) 725-9095 

Ms. Trish Millines Dziko 
Executive Director 

Programs

TAF (Technology Access Foundation) Programs

TAF’s primary goal is to improve public education and demonstrate the impact that creative partnerships, innovative practices informed by research, and community mobilization can have on access to STEM fields for all students. To do this we offer three strategically aligned programs:

TAF Academy ( 6-12th grade school) - An award winning public school managed in partnership between a public school district and TAF, whereby TAF designates a STEM school model and provides teachers ongoing professional and leadership development, and the district provides facilities and other support services in line with typical school operating responsibilities.  

STEMbyTAF Teaching Institute (Professional Development) - An intensive professional development model that provides hands-on training for pre-service and in-service classroom teachers. Each participant learns and experiences the best-practices in STEM education and project-based learning that have made TAF Academy a national award-winning STEM school.

STEMbyTAF Coaching and Support (School Transformation) - For schools converting to a school-wide STEM model.  TAF works with schools and districts to develop a strategic conversion plan that includes ongoing support in implementing interdisciplinary project-based learning instruction, STEM integration, educational technology, college and career readiness, and equitable practices that serve all students.  

Recent Successes and Current Challenges

Our flagship program, TAF Academy, is a fully accredited 6th-12th grade public school, co-managed through a partnership between TAF and Federal Way Public Schools. As a neighborhood school with normal admissions in a historically low-performing area, in our first four years of operation we increased math achievement 42% and were subsequently recognized by Intel™ with the 2012 Schools of Innovation Award for our work in middle school math. In addition, our work bringing STEM professionals and teachers together in order to analyze data and integrate STEM recently won the “2012 Partnering for Excellence: Innovations in STEM Education” award from Ashoka Changemakers. For two years in a row (2012 and 2013), the Center for Educational Effectiveness has awarded TAF Academy a “School of Distinction” Award, noting it to be one of the 5% highest improving schools in the state of Washington for increased reading and math achievement.

This year (2014), TAF Academy was designated a School of Innovation by the Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. TAF Academy was one of four schools in the entire state to receive this distinction.

Evaluation


The Technology Access Foundation (TAF) seeks to increase the number of people of color working as professionals in science, technology and math (STEM) industries by providing opportunities for youth of color to gain skills and education in these fields. Now in its third year, the TAF Academy (a grade 6-12 school) is a vehicle for integrating, scaling, and replicating many of the innovations TAF has tested in other programs, making them available in a public school setting to hundreds more children each year. In 2012, TAF plans to open a second academy in the Renton School District.

Use of Best Practices
The TAF Academy provides an additional 1.5 hours of math support every day for six weeks to middle school students who are struggling in math—participating students are making and sustaining significant gains. This support is provided by TAF-trained tutors, many of whom are enrolled in teacher-education programs. An additional benefit of this approach is that student-teachers gain exposure to the TAF model, growing the pool of potential teacher candidates for the Academy.

Collaboration
In partnership with the Highline Public Schools, TAF is piloting “Tech Start During the School Day”, an effort to work with teachers to integrate technology-based learning into their lesson plans and teaching approaches.

Financial Health
TAF made staff and program cuts that allowed it to weather the economic downturn. In March 2011, TAF received a $600,000 grant from Washington STEM to support the TAF Academy in Federal Way and support the launch of a second academy in Renton.

Grant History with The Seattle Foundation:

Grants Awarded through The Seattle Foundation Grantmaking Program:

DateAmountPurpose
6/10/2012 $25,000.00support general operating expenses.
6/10/2011 $25,000.00support general operating expenses.
3/10/2009 $25,000.00support general operating expenses.
10/5/2006 $50,000.00support general operating expenses.

Financials

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