Teachers and staff recognized for their achievements

STEM Certification for Red Cedar Foxes
Posted on 03/29/2018
Student using technology

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Red Cedar Elementary earns STEM certification,
maintaining district’s 100 percent approval record

BEAUFORT – Red Cedar Elementary School has earned a prestigious certification in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics instruction following an on-site visit by an outside review team.

Red Cedar is the seventh district school to earn STEM Certification from AdvancED, a non-profit organization that provides on-site external reviews of PreK-12 schools and school systems around the world.  Beaufort County has more STEM-certified schools than any district in South Carolina (seven of 28 statewide).

Four district schools earned STEM certification in 2015 (Beaufort, Michael C. Riley and Pritchardville elementary schools and Lady’s Island Middle School), and two more earned certification in 2016 (Okatie Elementary and River Ridge Academy).

“The district’s perfect record is still intact,” said Superintendent Jeff Moss.  “All seven of our schools that have worked toward STEM certification have achieved it, and that’s a reflection of top-notch school staff and top-notch school leadership.”

Red Cedar Elementary Principal Kathy Corley said her school’s teachers and staff were gratified to be recognized for their achievements with student academics.

“Going through this certification process required us to do a lot of reflection and self-evaluation about the ways we deliver STEM instruction,” Corley said.  “That helps us to improve even more, and our students certainly benefit from that.”

AdvancED touts its STEM Certification as “the first internationally recognized mark of quality for STEM schools and programs, signaling the growing emphasis placed on STEM education by educators, politicians and business leaders around the world.”

AdvancED requires applying schools to meets its STEM Certification standards as reflected by their performance across 11 rigorous indicators.  The process is supported by research-based tools and resources, and AdvancEd says that high evaluation scores mean that students in those schools are equipped and trained to be innovative, creative and systematic problem-solvers across disciplines.

AdvancED reviewers examine each school’s evidence of quality STEM education that the schools provided to the review team beforehand, and on-site classroom observations then focus on identifying student engagement and collaboration in the learning process.  Reviewers also interview key stakeholders such as school administrators, teachers and staff, parents, students and external partners to verify the school’s commitment to connecting students’ STEM experiences in the classroom to the local community and the world at large.

EDITOR’S NOTE:  A video about Red Cedar Elementary’s STEM programs can be viewed on the school district’s YouTube channel.