We are excited to announce that CAST Med will open a 6th and 8th grade year, as part of a plan to grow this campus, located at Brooks, to serve grades 6-12, in August 2024.
CAST Schools began as a high school concept, opening CAST Tech in 2017, CAST STEM in 2018, and CAST Med in 2019. Also in 2019, the Pre-K-12 Advanced Learning Academy (ALA) joined our network. In 2022, CAST Lead High School added 8th grade. In January of this year, CAST STEM will move to a new home at Palo Alto College, and we look forward to building on the success of early college high schools to build a CAST version of a high school embedded in a community college.
We are an innovative school model implementer, which means we partner with school districts to design and implement schools that have a new approach to teaching and learning focused on discovering your purpose and hands-on experiences tied to the real world. Over the six years of opening and adapting schools, we have discovered so much.
One of the wonderful things for our high school students is that they are all coming from different places, be they different neighborhoods, different family structures and backgrounds, different cultures and stories. High school offers an opportunity for a fresh start. I recently interviewed Timiera “TJ” Jackson, one of the first graduating class of CAST Tech High School, and she described her excitement in 2017 about the opportunity to be the best version of all the different people she had been before.
From an academic perspective, students come to us from varied backgrounds as well, neighborhood schools, charter schools, private schools, home school, and differently prepared for a rigorous STEM high school. We welcome this diversity, but have come to realize through our experience with ALA the benefit of spending more time to better prepare our students for college, career, and life.
Those of you who have visited CAST Med High School may wonder where we will put these new students! But the building is under construction and expected to offer some amazing new spaces just in time for additional young people to join us for the 2024-2025 school year. We’re planning focus groups with students and families to ensure it is an excellent experience for them, knowing that these grades will serve more to explore STEM careers than specifically medicine. Wherever our middle school students find themselves in high school, we want them to be not only academically prepared, but armed with a strong sense of purpose, community, and understanding their why.