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Charter School for Math and Science receives certification for ETEM program

  • Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Charleston Charter School for Math and Science announces that it has received national certification for its Project Lead The Way (PLTW) program that it has been offering since 2008. (This is the second time the school has gone through the national certification process to validate its program.)

PLTW, a nonprofit organization and the nation’s leading provider of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education programs, offers a rigorous world-class curriculum that allows students to apply what they are learning in math and science class to real-life biomedical science projects. PLTW also prides itself on high-quality professional development of its teachers and an engaged network of business, community and university partners to give students the fullest experience.

The national PLTW recognition program distinguishes schools for successfully demonstrating a commitment to PLTW’s national standards. Additionally, certification as a PLTW school provides students with the opportunity to apply for college credit or receive college-level recognition at PLTW affiliate universities when they successfully complete select PLTW courses in high school. PLTW has more than 40 affiliate college and university partners, including the University of South Carolina.

In order to remain competitive in the global economy, America needs approximately 400,000 science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) college graduates annually, according to a National Business Roundtable report. Currently, the U.S. is graduating only 265,000 annually. PLTW is providing students with the skills, foundation and proven path to college and career success in STEM areas to increase the number of STEM graduates.

Dr. Stagliano, principal of Charleston Charter School for Math and Science said, “We’ve seen how the PLTW program draws more students into the biomedical sciences and gets them thinking about college and their careers. We are extremely proud to be PLTW certified and ecstatic that our students are eligible for college-level recognition, which may include college credit for select PLTW courses, scholarships and admissions preference.”

As part of the recognition process, Dr. Stagliano and a team composed of teachers, staff, students and members of the community submitted a self-assessment of the school’s implementation of PLTW’s Biomedical Sciences (BMS) program. A site visit by a PLTW trained team followed. PLTW’s team met with teachers, school administrators, counselors, students and members of the school’s Partnership Team. A PLTW school’s Partnership Team (sometimes referred to as an advisory council) is comprised of teachers, counselors, administrators, post-secondary representatives, business and industry professionals and other community members who actively support the PLTW program within a school.

“Charleston Charter School for Math and Science should be congratulated for demonstrating once again its commitment to PLTW’s quality standards,” said PLTW president and CEO Vince Bertram. “The real winners here, however, are CCSMS’s students. Students benefit from PLTW’s innovative, project-based curriculum that encourages creativity, problem solving, and critical thinking. We look forward to many more years of working together to prepare Charleston Charter students to become the most innovative and productive in the world.”

Katie McGormley added, “The beauty of PLTW courses is that our kids get to experience how a concept they learned in science applies to a real-world project. In class, there are no lectures – kids are exploring the concepts of human medicine, mapping and analyzing DNA and designing innovative solutions for the health challenges of the 21st century. That is the kind of hands-on experience that will engage more students in fields that they might otherwise never have considered.” For more information on PLTW, you may also contact Jennifer Cahill at the national office at 317-669-0871 or jcahill@pltw.org.

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