First, Shallowford Falls Elementary School earned certification from the Cobb County School District for the school’s science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) program. Three months later, the school’s STEM program achieved international recognition with the AdvancED STEM certification.
This distinction is only offered to highly-effective institutions that use STEM education as a path to success. AdvancED is the world’s largest school improvement and accreditation agency. The standard indicators of AdvancED STEM Certification clearly define 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 the mastery of 21st century skills.
An AdvancED review team spent two days immersed in the STEM curriculum at Shallowford Falls. They observed students and teachers in the classroom and conducted interviews with various members of the Shallowford community. They heard from a panel of Shallowford students about how STEM education is effecting students first-hand.
“Everyone has different skills, and when you put them all together, it all works out,” a fourth grade student told the review team.
One parent praised the teamwork fostered by the Shallowford STEM program.
“Collaboration is an equalizer for many children who may not yet possess the confidence in their ability to realize they play an important role,” a Shallowford parent said during the panel discussion.
Both the Cobb STEM and AdvancED certifications represent a three-year collective effort by the administration, teachers, staff, Foundation, PTA and Shallowford community working together to advance the school’s STEM initiative.
“This achievement shows the effectiveness of our school’s focus on rigor and relevance, and our commitment to providing students with a highly effective learning environment,” said Felicia Angelle, Principal of Shallowford Falls Elementary School.
Shallowford Falls teachers demonstrate their commitment to STEM by enhancing instruction and stretching the learning process, all while undergoing individual professional development and differentiated teacher certification.
“A STEM education prepares our [students] for future educational and career endeavors, and gives them the necessary skills to be productive citizens in a global society,” said Catherine Mills, STEM Certification Liaison and STEM Lab Teacher.