CUMMING — A public school near Cumming recently became the first elementary school in Georgia to receive national certification for its science, technology, engineering and mathematics program.
Whitlow Elementary School received the AdvancED STEM Certification, a mark of STEM distinction and excellence only offered to what are described as highly effective institutions that “prioritize STEM education as a path to success.”
The school off Castleberry Road is the 23rd in the United States to receive this recognition.
The only other STEM-certified school in the Forsyth County school system is Forsyth Central High School, which is certified through the Georgia Department of Education.
“We are proud of Whitlow Elementary School for achieving our STEM certification,” said Lynne Castleberry, principal. “Our teachers, students, parents and community have worked collaboratively to plan and implement rigorous learning opportunities built around STEM concepts.”
AdvancED STEM Certification is the first internationally recognized mark of quality for STEM schools and programs, signaling the growing emphasis placed on such education by teachers, politicians and business leaders around the world.
In earning this distinction, Whitlow shows they have demonstrated its commitment to preparing its students for their educational and career opportunities of the future by “ensuring its students will have the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in their postsecondary pursuits and as workforce contributors in the 21st-century economy.”
The school had to adhere to standards as reflected by performance across 11 indicators. The process provided an evaluation and continuous improvement process, support by research-based tools and resources.
Achieving high scores across the indicators certifies that students have been equipped and trained to be innovative, creative and systematic problem-solvers across disciplines.
“We are proud to have Whitlow named as an AdvancED STEM Certified school,” said Superintendent Jeff Bearden. “This certification exhibits Whitlow’s commitment to addressing workforce needs by preparing our students with the relevant skills and experiences to succeed while demonstrating to the private-sector that we are committed to driving higher levels of student achievement for their STEM pipeline.
“STEM certification will continue to uphold our school to high standards while providing a clear roadmap for us to continuously improve our STEM disciplines and program.”