PORT ORCHARD — Five South Kitsap schools have been recognized for their efforts to provide access to “transformative learning opportunities” for students through the PLTW Launch and PLTW Gateway programs.
The Distinguished School recognition comes from PLTW, a nonprofit organization that serves millions of pre-K through 12 students and teachers in schools across the U.S., according to a news release from the South Kitsap School District.
The South Kitsap schools recognized are Olalla and Sunnyslope elementaries, and Cedar Heights, John Sedgwick and Marcus Whitman middle schools.
The PLTW Distinguished School recognition honors schools committed to increasing student access, engagement and achievement in their PLTW programs. For elementary schools to be eligible for the designation, the school district said, they had to offer at least two PLTW Launch modules at each grade level and have more than 75 percent of the student body participating during the 2017-2018 school year.
According to South Kitsap School District spokeswoman Amy Miller, studies have shown that students decide as early as elementary school whether they like — and think they are good at — math and science. She said PLTW Launch students engage in critical and creative thinking, and build teamwork skills.
For middle schools to be eligible for the PLTW Distinguished School designation, they had to offer at least one PLTW Gateway unit at each grade level; have at least 50 percent of the student body participating; and have 25 percent of students advancing to high school participate in two or more units during their middle-school tenure.
“[The designated South Kitsap schools] are a model for what school should look like,” said Vince Bertram, PLTW president and CEO. “They should be very proud of ensuring students have the knowledge and skills to be career-ready and successful on any career path they choose.”