The STEM Academy @ Bartlett hosted an awards ceremony Thursday, March 15, to celebrate its designation as a National Lighthouse School to Watch by the National Middle School Association. A Lighthouse Schools Representative was in attendance, and the school received the national banner for becoming a Lighthouse School to Watch.
Lighthouse Schools are considered national model middle school programs, and are chosen on the basis of academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, social equity, and highly successful organizational structures and processes. The designation is made by the National Middle School Association in collaboration with the National Forum to Accelerate Middle School Reform.
Only 20 other schools in the state of Georgia have been selected. These schools serve as mentors and models for other schools in the state while at the same time continuing their own journey of excellence. Once identified as a School to Watch, each site must apply for re-designation every 3 years in order to remain in the program.
Dr. Jimmie Cave, principal, states this award is the result of staff and students’ hard work and dedication. The Lighthouse Schools team visited The STEM Academy in the fall of 2017 for a multi-day interview and observation process. Team members met with students, parents, faculty and administration, observed classes, and surveyed faculty members. The school also completed an extensive application process.
Georgia Lighthouse Schools to Watch is a state-level partnership that seeks to identify high-performing, middle grades schools in the state of Georgia. Georgia is one of 18 states that have qualified to be part of this prestigious National Forum Schools to Watch® program (www.middlegradesforum.org). Georgia began participation in the program in 2002 when the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform selected Georgia as one of the first three states to institute the Schools to Watch program.
Lighthouse Schools host visitors and participate in various professional development activities and conferences to work with educators and community members to improve schools throughout the nation. Lighthouse schools are committed to their own growth and must reapply and be visited every three years to retain the designation.
The program also seeks to make all educators, parents, and citizens aware of the characteristics of high-performing middle schools and the special importance of the early adolescence years.
The school will receive a banner to display and will be asked to participate in the state forum in Atlanta, and the National Schools to Watch forum in Washington, DC, next year.
Part of the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System, The STEM Academy @ Bartlett is a specialty middle school serving sixth through eighth grade students. The school was Georgia’s first certified STEM middle school and selected as FETC’s 2016 STEM middle school of the year. The school was recently awarded the Technology Association of Georgia’s 2017 STEM Education Award for Middle School. For more information about The STEM Academy, visit their website at stem.sccpss.com.
To see photos from the event please click here.