May Principal’s Message As the 2021-22 school year is winding down, I want to first thank our wonderful Canyon Crest staff for their devotion and perseverance in teaching the children of this...
What is a STEM Designation? Over the past three years, Canyon Crest has been preparing to become a STEM designated school as teachers have been training in coding, robotics, and implementing technology in the classrooms. Our school has also implemented the Space Lab, STEM Lab, and STEM Friday hour. Through the Utah STEM Action Center in Salt Lake City, this designation is offered to schools who demonstrate strong skills in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) instruction. In order to become so, there is an involved process in which a school must show that they follow certain requirements set by the State. To begin the process, early in the school year we submitted our intent to become STEM Designated with the Utah State STEM Action Center. Upon acceptance, the next deadline was to submit a detailed document by January 17, 2022, showing what our school does to demonstrate strong STEM and instructional practices. There are 10 dimensions, with 37 elements, that require narratives and evidence. The dimensions cover: (1) Curriculum: Problem-Solving Rigorous Learning, (2) Leadership, (3) Assessment, (4) Professional Learning, (5) Teaching, (6) Student Engagement and Equity, (7) Community, (8) Facilities, (9) Strategic Alliances, and (10) Accountability and Sustainability.
Teachers, school staff, administration, and community teams worked together to compile a “snapshot” of our school. On January 16, 2022 our school submitted a sixty-seven page document with over 400 pieces of evidence. The submitted document is run through a number of evaluations before a designation is approved. Through the application, schools may apply for a bronze, silver, gold, or platinum designation. Schools who are in line to receive the highest recognition, a gold or platinum designation, have members of the State Stem Action Center visit their school. Canyon Crest had a visit from State Officials on Friday, March 11, 2022. Our visitors were able to see a “STEM Friday”, and every classroom was abuzz with hands-on learning, robotics, coding, math and science activities, Space and STEM labs, and just plain amazing teaching! I was so very proud of our teachers, students, and school.
Our Canyon Crest school STEM designation and level will hopefully be announced around April 8th. The designation must be approved by the State School Board and then announced officially to the schools. Currently there are only 38 STEM designated schools in the state of Utah, and we hope to be number 39! Not only will this designation be a snapshot of what Canyon Crest Elementary does on a daily basis, but we as a school and community, should feel proud of what our school has to offer.
Once a school is designated, there is an on-going process to remain a STEM Designated School. We have submitted a five-year plan that will provide accountability and sustainability, and each school must resubmit their application every five years. We are hopeful that our school will earn the honor of a STEM Designation, but regardless, we are very proud of the excellent work that our Canyon Crest team performs on a daily basis to educate our students. Our team consists of excellent teachers, staff, parents, community businesses, and of course, our hard-working students. Thank you, Canyon Crest Community, for the part you play in providing outstanding learning opportunities for our children. We will stay tuned for a hopefully exciting announcement in the near future, so be ready to put your hands together (clap!) for Canyon Crest Elementary!
Link to access the STEM Designation document