ESTEEM Center - About Us
The mission of the ESTEEM Center for Equity in Science, Technology, Engineering, English, & Math is to provide our diverse community of students a safe learning environment that fosters student growth and success coupled with mentoring and a clear, individualized pathway of high-quality STEM instruction and resources to realize their potential and academic goals in STEM K-12 education and beyond.
The ESTEEM Center introduces STEM early in elementary school and provides a pathway of progressive STEM education and extracurricular activities throughout K-12, allowing students to achieve their full potential in their chosen area of study. With vertically integrated articulation of STEM as both a tribe in which students can belong and an educational path to a STEM career through FCPS, the ESTEEM Center provides students who would otherwise not have STEM on their radar a place to be and a strong foundation in advanced STEM instruction to prepare them for multiple STEM high school programs available in FCPS.
Luther Jackson Middle School’s vertical consists of six elementary schools which feed students to LJMS and Falls Church High, into which most of LJMS’s students matriculate. Four of these elementary schools are Title 1, with students receiving free and reduced lunch at levels between 76-94 percent. The full implementation of the ESTEEM Center’s program will grow to encompass other highschool offerings such as TJ and Marshall STEM Academy.
Luther Jackson’s vertical is one of the most diverse segments of FCPS in terms of race, ethnicity, languages spoken, and immigrant households. The majority of our students throughout the vertical receive the Free and Reduced Lunch program.
These schools do not have the resources available in wealthier areas FCPS serves. As a result, their STEM offerings have rigor but are not robust. Information is not readily available about STEM programs, including STEM summer internships, summer programs, electives in 7-12 secondary, specialized STEM 9-12 programs, STEM college & certification programs, and STEM careers.
The ESTEEM Center seeks to undo these disparities and provide clear pathways, mentoring, and highlevel STEM instruction for all students—no matter if they are AAP or receiving special education services in our Cat B program or somewhere in between