The Dudley T. Dougherty Foundation

SMART- Science, Math, Art, Reading and Technology Program

Grant Information
Categories Arts , Education
Location South Texas
Cycle Year 2010
Organization Information
Organization Name (provided by applicant) St. Mary's Academy Charter School
Organization Name (provided by automatic EIN validation)
Contact Information
Contact Name Molly Young
Phone 512-740-6522
507 N. Filmore
Additional Information
Used for Funds will be used to support the SMART (Science, Math, Art, Reading and Technology) Extended Day/Year program at St. Mary's Academy Charter School.
Benefits St. Mary's has had great success in the area of student achievement and credits a large majority of such success to the additional time devoted to students through the SMART Program. Many of the students come from poverty and/or broken homes and have few of the needed skills for academic and social success. This program helps them overcome obstacles and gain skills needed to achieve their full potential.
Proposal Description St. Mary’s Academy Charter School (SMACS) is an open-enrollment, public charter school in Beeville, Texas. Due to innovative practices, fiscal efficiency, committed staff members and a vision for student achievement, SMACS has achieved high standards and has been named as a Texas Education Agency Exemplary School and a National Blue Ribbon School by the US Department of Education.

The over-reaching goal of St. Mary’s is to prepare students to reach their full potential. One way that SMACS has addressed the growing needs of its students is by creating comprehensive support programs. Currently, special services include: Counseling that includes therapy by licensed professional counselors, extra tutorials, after-school enrichment, extended day/ extended year services, classroom intervention programs, extensive and targeted staff development and family outreach. To provide the extra time on task needed by students, and to serve the needs of working parents, St. Mary's developed the SMART (Science Math fine and performing Arts Reading and Technology) program. St. Mary’s SMART program is an after school and extended year program that wraps-around the traditional 8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. school program. The SMART program offers supervision and activities for an additional 3 hours on schools days. The extended year program runs Saturdays, intersession days, and summers for an average of 60 additional “school” days per year. The program focuses on enriching and reinforcing the core subjects of Science, Math, and Reading/Language Arts and incorporates fine/performing arts and technology.

As a public charter school, SMACS operates on approximately 60% of the funds that are apportioned to regular public schools. State and Federal funds are available, but no local property tax funds are contributed to the school. This means that SMACS must provide the same, and in most cases better, services as the public schools with more budgetary restraints. This year state funding for the after-school and extended day SMART program was cut by TEA, leaving St. Mary’s with a $52,000 shortfall for its most valued program. Your help in supporting this program with a $10,000 contribution is requested. Your donation will aid us in continuing the SMART program and in helping to make academic, character and personal development gains with our students. (Please see attached budget for complete cost accounting).

Students enrolled at the school face many challenges. In fact, parents seek-out St. Mary’s to support and educate their students based on a growing success rate with both mainstream and special needs students. Challenges faced by St. Mary’s include:
•Many students come from economically-disadvantaged households. This year, 78% of enrolled students qualified for free-and-reduced lunch programs.
•Forty percent of students have been classified as living in “at-risk households”
•Families report that 25% of the students have family members who are or have been in prison.
•A high percentage of identified special education students were classified as emotionally disturbed ;
•Up to 6% of the students live in foster care; an even larger percentage do not live with a relative, but with an adult outside of the family structure;
•Between 10-15% of the families have been evaluated by Child Protective Services;
•Between 11-12% of the children have been victims of sexual abuse;

St. Mary's holistic approach has paid off in remarkable test gains in all areas. Each year St. Mary’s implements a strategic planning and evaluation process to target and increase student success. St. Mary's is truly a remarkable school that produces long-term, meaningful change in the lives of children each day. Your help to continue the SMART program will be greatly appreciated.