Coral Academy of Science Las Vegas (CASLV) is a STEM-focused, college-prep public charter school that gives students in grades K-12 an opportunity to achieve their full potentials. The mission of CASLV is to provide a safe, rigorous college preparatory environment that promotes social responsibility and a culturally diverse community dedicated to becoming lifelong learners bound for success. CASLV started its operation in 2007 at its Tamarus Campus. Four years later, CASLV added a second and third campus, Windmill and Sandy Ridge, respectively. Due to a growing demand for our academic model, CASLV added three more campuses to serve the Centennial Hills area, Nellis Air Force Base in 2016, and the Eastgate campus opened in the fall of 2018. CASLV’s academically rigorous model and college-preparatory focus attract high-achieving students who desire a challenging environment. Students apply to our school and a lottery is held annually to determine enrollment. CASLV continues to be a popular school choice for the community we serve. Our collection of schools has a current waiting list that exceeds 5,000 students in grades K-12. CASLV currently serves over 3,500 students across the valley. CASLV’s stellar reputation, which speaks for itself, has only grown in magnitude since its inception. CASLV’s faculty and staff are dedicated to challenging all students academically, instilling college awareness at all grade levels, and motivating them towards STEM careers by providing the necessary tools to help develop 21st century and leadership skills.
CASLV’s STEM-focused and college-prep education program is based on an inquiry approach to science, technology, engineering, and math to improve access and success in STEM fields in college. According to research conducted about the benefits of an inquiry-based science program for special populations, inquiry-oriented teaching may be especially valuable for many at-risk and diverse populations. In one study, language-minority students were found to acquire scientific ways of thinking, talking, and writing through inquiry-oriented teaching.
CASLV’s elementary program prepares students for success in middle and high school by providing a rigorous integrated STEM education. The inquiry-based hands-on instructional approach not only teaches young students to “learn to learn,” but also prepares them for success in the pursuit of future STEM careers. CASLV administrators firmly believe that it is essential to start early and provide a motivating education program grounded in STEM. For grades 3rd through 5th, a team of two elementary teachers share two classes, one teaching math and science, the other reading and writing, while each their own social studies. CASLV has managed to provide equal time for science and social studies whereas many schools have to alter teaching them due to devoting more time to math and reading.
CASLV students participated in hundreds of academic and athletic competitions since our inception in 2007, and our students have won hundreds of awards at these competitions such as Science Olympiads, The Beal Bank USA Southern Nevada Regional Science & Engineering Fairs, Intel ISEF (International Science and Engineering Fair), local and national debate tournaments including International Lions Club Poster Competition, Varsity Girls Volleyball, Varsity Boys Basketball, Statewide Science Bowls, Mathcounts Competitions, Harvard MIT Math Tournament, American Mathematics Competitions, American Invitational Mathematics Examination, Interstellar Math Madness, Noetic Learning Math Contest, ARML Power Contest, ARML Contest, MOEMS Contest, and FTC and FLL Robotics Competitions.
CASLV believes that an educated citizen in the 21st century must have the skills and understanding to participate and work productively in a technologically oriented and global environment. A significant step toward helping students achieve their maximum potential involves providing a rigorous, relevant, and college-preparatory curriculum. While the curriculum concentrates on STEM, it also provides a solid instruction in humanities and social sciences to educate the whole child. Advanced courses are offered to spur interest in and prepare for all students in STEM related careers. Science classes employ technology in laboratory explorations and experimentation. Computer simulations assist in expanding the number of lab opportunities in all grade levels. Teachers effectively use the inquiry-based approach to engage students in the learning process while encouraging high levels of interest. Students’ observations and reflections are the key factors for maximum learning results through hands-on instruction.
To enhance critical-thinking skills, students work on inquiry-based activities and projects outside of the classroom throughout the school year. Each year, CASLV organizes school-wide science fairs in which all students participate. CASLV students then move on to participate in the regional and statewide science fairs. CASLV organizes and participates in local and statewide math and computer programming competitions, STEM fairs and Expos.