By Lucas Gonzalez, Springfield News-Sun Staff Writer
Graham Middle School has been recognized with a distinguished honor by a nonprofit organization that serves millions of PreK-12 students and teachers across the U.S.
Project Lead The Way (PLTW) helps students in all 50 states develop skills for an evolving world through pathways in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science, according to PLTW’S website.
“We have worked hard to provide intentional pre-pathway learning experiences for our students here at GMS. Not only is Project Lead The Way coursework an opportunity, but it is also an expectation for our students” said Middle School Assistant Principal Nick Guidera.
The nonprofit recognized Graham Middle School as a PLTW Distinguished School for “providing broad access to transformative learning opportunities through PLTW Gateway,” a press release says.
Graham Middle School is one of 148 middle schools across the country to receive this designation.
“We are thrilled at this honor, which represents the hard work and dedication of our students in the classroom, and the staff who help create and maintain a special culture here at Graham”, said superintendent Kirk Koennecke.
The PLTW Distinguished School recognition honors schools who have demonstrated a commitment to increasing student access, engagement, and achievement in their PLTW programs, according to the release.
To be eligible for the designation, Graham Middle School had to meet the following criteria for the 2017-18 school year, according to the release:
• Offer at least one PLTW Gateway unit at each grade level;
• Have at least 50 percent of the student body participating;
• Have 25 percent of students advancing to high school participate in two or more units during their middle school tenure.
Principle Chad Lensman said he is proud of Graham’s approach.
“To say that 100 percent of our students are taking PLTW coursework is something special. Very few schools nationwide can make that claim. We value the learning taking place in these programs and this coursework is a big piece of our STEM education here at Graham Middle School.”