London Schools earn national recognition for STEM programs

The American Association of School Administrators and JASON Learning recently recognized London City Schools as an Emerging STEM District: (from left) Dr. Matt Seiloff, Dr. Eleanor Smalley, and Dr. Thomas Taylor, representatives of JASON Learning; London Superintendent Dr. Lou Kramer, London Assistant Superintendent Carla Shaw, London director of teaching and learning Kylie Pritchard, and London Elementary Principal Heather Mills.

(Posted Aug. 8, 2023)

London City Schools has a long-established commitment to providing high-quality STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math programs) to students. This summer, those efforts were recognized on a national level.

In early July at the JASON Learning National Conference in Leesburg, Virginia, the school district was recognized as an Emerging STEM District by the American Association of School Administrators and JASON Learning. The recognition is the culmination of a rigorous credentialing process that took place during the 2022-23 school year and included a lengthy application and site visit.

In awarding this honor, the credentialing team noted that London was outstanding when it came to developing a culture of STEM throughout the school district. Dr. Eleanor Smalley, president and CEO of JASON Learning, provided the following feedback regarding the district’s application:

• London City artifacts demonstrated an outstanding innovation, risk-taking, and development environment that integrated STEM entrepreneurship, digital literacy, scientific literacy, and innovation.

• London City’s Student STEM Advisory group is groundbreaking. Getting that student-level feedback directly to the superintendent is such a fabulous idea. This is something that London City should present to inspire other districts to set up similar student advisory groups.

• We were impressed with the evaluation, self-reflection, and internal discussions designed for continual improvement.

• London City has an outstanding array of STEM offerings for every student in every grade level. The impact and integration of STEM across each school and each classroom, as well as the opportunity and expectation that every student will participate, learn, and grow through STEM and scientific thinking and inquiry.

The district’s focus on strengthening STEM programs started seven years ago and is an effort to provide students with personalized learning opportunities in order to increase innovative, technical, and creative thinking. The focus on STEM also seeks to build collaborative skills and provide opportunities to apply real-world learning experiences for students through the design process. Many of these skills and attributes are identified in the district’s “Portrait of a Graduate.”

The district will retain its certification for three years after which it must participate in a re-credentialing process.

The American Association of School Administrators is a professional community of more than 10,000 education leaders who are committed to providing high-quality public education to all students.

JASON Learning is an independent nonprofit founded in 1989 by Dr. Robert D. Ballard. The organization provides curriculum and learning experiences in science, technology, engineering, and math for K-12 students and professional development for teachers.

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