ELLERSLIE, Ga. (WRBL) – On Jan. 28, Pine Ridge Elementary School in Ellerslie, Ga. became the sixth Georgia elementary school to receive state STEAM (STEAM, or Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) certification from the Georgia Department of Education.
The Harris County School District says that the certification means that Pine Ridge Elementary gives its students a state-certified integrated learning curriculum that is driven by exploratory project-based learning and student-centered development of ideas and solutions.
“As a STEAM school, Pine Ridge Elementary (PRE) focuses on promoting the 21st century thinking skills of communication, creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration. Driven by project-based learning, students are exposed to career opportunities through real world problem solving and integrated instruction,” Pine Ridge Elementary Principal Jackie Lintner said.
As part of the certification process, a certification team visited the school on Jan. 22 to meet with a panel of parents, observe classes, and compare in-person evidence with information the school submitted when it applied for STEAM status with the GaDOE.
Members of the team shared their thoughts on the school anonymously:
- “Students here can clearly speak to their learning…it’s so fluid, even when they are changing to specials, the learning isn’t siloed into a single classroom, it just continues.”
- “This school is a model for what we want education to be in Georgia.”
According to the Harris County School District, the certification team voted unanimously to award Pine Ridge the STEAM certification.
“The hard work of Pine Ridge’s administration, faculty, staff, students, and all who supported this endeavor is to be commended. This type of certification will benefit students attending the school now, those who will attend in the future, and the community at large,” said Roger Couch, HCSD superintendent.
Later in the school year, an award ceremony will be held and the GaDOE State School Superintendent, Richard Woods, will present the Pine Ridge with a STEAM certification banner.
The Harris County School District has two of the six elementary schools in Georgia that are STEAM certified. The first school certified in the county was New Mountain Hill Elementary School. Certifications are updated every five years.