Standard 5

STANDARD 5 

LEADERSHIP: 
Leaders ensure that all stakeholders have ongoing opportunities to access information and learn about STEM implementation.

INITIATIVES/ACTIONS: 
- Providing education for parents and community members
- SIC STEM Involvement
- Increasing community awareness of STEM




What Does It Look Like?

Beaufort Elementary realizes the importance of training faculty for implementation of STEM.  There are many in-house professional developments scheduled to help teachers effectively implement STEM learning.  There are members of the STEM leadership team that are available to consult, and team teach in classrooms during STEM activities.  Several of our staff members had the opportunity to attend the National NSTA (National Science Teaching Association) Conference.  Several teachers were involved in PLO's (professional learning opportunities) provided by the SC State Department of Education on 3-D printing which incorporated other technologies to teach STEM.  We have teachers that are and have been involved in graduate classes and training from various universities that have a focus on STEM learning.  


stakeholder  stakeholders

Each year as we plan for the Title I budget expenditures, we gather input from SIC (School Improvement Council), administration, teachers, and parents. This group has allotted a large portion of funding to support STEM learning in our building.  The SIC has helped select STEM based field trips for each grade level in order to ensure that students have exposure to STEM experiences across the state at no cost to the students. This means that if a child attends BES for their entire elementary career, they will attend seven major field trips that expose them to experiences, vocabulary, and background knowledge that will help them be more successful in all learning including STEM. Another sizable portion of our budget is set aside for the purchase of STEM materials for the entire school including parental activities. It is very important that teachers have the necessary materials to execute their lessons.  Additionally, money is allocated for salaries for our afterschool STEM programs.


coding

 


As we plan for STEM we also keep in mind our students and their families. We ensure that all students have ample opportunities to participate in activities that would enhance our STEM program as it grows deeper within the curriculum. Beaufort Elementary provides STEM learning opportunities both during and after school throughout the year. For several years now, students have participated in the "Hour of Code" program. STEM night occurs yearly. It is an evening of sharing information about STEM with parents and explains ways that they can create STEM experiences at home. At this event we have an engineering challenge that allows families to communicate and work together to solve a problem.  Additionally, Joe Ryan, from the SC Division of Internet Crimes Against Children & Cybersafety presented to our families about cybersafety during yearly school Community Nights.  


parent night

Beaufort Elementary School also incorporates community outreach when possible. They host an annual STEM Career Fair where community stakeholders provide real-world learning opportunities to share STEM careers and experiences with students. Our school's float showcased STEM learning during the Christmas parade. We keep our community stakeholders informed about Holiday STEM events and highlight lessons taking place in classrooms through our Facebook page, school newsletter, and Twitter.  

Stakeholders


Strengths

Due to our dedication to STEM education, the budget is designed in order to support the school’s STEM needs. We utilize common events that other schools have and organize them with a STEM emphasis.  For example, we traditionally have a career fair but now we plan it through a STEM lens. We intentionally organize grade level field trips that are STEM related and provide a range of experiences for our students.

Sustainability

The dedication of SIC members, the school leadership team, and guidance department to the area of STEM will enable us to continue our initiatives of field trips, STEM night, and STEM career fairs.  We will continue to dedicate funds to support STEM in our building. We continue to communicate in multiple ways with stakeholders.  We have a parent liaison that works hard to keep parents notified.  Our Facebook page is another way that we communicate with stakeholders. 

Challenges

While our active stakeholders participate in decisions regarding STEM expenditures, we would like to have more community involvement in the planning stages of our STEM experiences. 

Continuous Improvement

While we have staff members who have been in place through the process of expanding STEM, we need to establish closer connections with members of the community for planning purposes.  While we have consistent members of the community, such as Fripp Audubon, that have planned STEM experiences with our teachers over several years, we need to expand this group to provide more variety of experiences and utilize their connections to continue to expand opportunities for our students.