Standard 4

STANDARD 4 LEADERSHIP: School/program has established a shared vision for STEM and has leadership structures to support effective implementation. INITIATIVES/ACTIONS: - Revising the school mission statement - Developing teachers as leaders

Beaufort Elementary has developed a shared vision for STEM based on a mindset that students are involved in activities that promote problem solving and critical thinking skills in multiple settings and content areas.  The twenty-first century learning practices of critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication are a crucial part of our school mission statement. At Beaufort Elementary School, our belief is that STEM is not something “you do” but is something embedded in “everything you do”, which is reflected in our shared vision and school mission statement.    Picture

Our school supports effective implementation of the STEM process by inviting teachers and leaders to develop specific STEM curriculum, present professional development at the school, district, and state levels, and participate in training both locally and nationally. The school leadership team plans for STEM opportunities as evidenced by the school’s master schedule and incorporates schoolwide events such as STEM fair and One School, One Book initiatives.  Teachers receive training and support through the STEM Leadership Team and instructional coaches to develop and implement equitable opportunities for students to engage in high quality STEM learning. Additionally, many teachers received training in areas such as Master Naturalist, STEM Garden training, and Project Wild that enhance our STEM program.

Our teachers have a commitment to education not only in our building but across the state. Several of our teachers worked with the SC State Department of Education to develop instructional units for the 2014  science standards. We also had teacher participation in the development of units for the Great American Total Eclipse of 2017. These teachers worked on several grade levels in order to provide quality experiences for students. Included in the units were performance assessments focused on content, but also heavily infused with science and engineering practices. These practices are the corner stone of STEM learning.  Picture


Our engineering teacher, Meredith Rhoden, was a state finalist for 2018 PAEMST award (Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching).  Mrs. Rhoden has worked as part of the leadership team to ensure that students throughout the building experience quality STEM learning. She has met with teachers to aid in planning STEM experiences and  co-teaches lessons when requested. Mrs. Rhoden also supports both school wide and individual teachers by organizing and gathering materials needed for various STEM activities throughout the building.  

Our strength is that we have many teachers who have a vested interest in developing opportunities for students to participate in STEM activities that enhance their content knowledge. They seek assistance from various resources on best practices for including STEM in their classroom instruction. One area of improvement would be to continue to increase our knowledge of how to effectively implement STEM skills and practices across all content areas.