The Oak Ridge school system has announced that it has become the first district in the state to earn AdvancED STEM certification for all of its elementary and middle schools.
AdvancED uses a research-based framework and criteria for the awareness, continuous improvement, and assessment of the quality, rigor, and substance of STEM educational programs, the press release said. STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
In the spring of 2016, three Oak Ridge elementary schools earned AdvancED STEM certification: Glenwood, Linden, and Woodland. These schools were the first in the district to demonstrate the capacity to prepare students for STEM fields of study and work, the press release said.
In the spring of 2017, three more schools in Oak Ridge received this distinction: Willow Brook Elementary, Jefferson Middle, and Robertsville Middle.
The certification process clearly defines the qualities and components vital to creating and sustaining superior student-centered K-12 STEM teaching and learning programs, as well as clear expectations for student outcomes and mastery of 21st century skills, the press release said.
The certification process consists of two days of intensive communication with school stakeholders, classroom observations to see students in action, and an exit presentation of the findings from the review team.