Photo caption: Fifth and sixth grade students in STEM classes at Granite Mountain School have opportunities to learn science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) concepts in their intergrated classes. (Courtesy photo-PUSD)
Qualifying to become a STEM Certified School by integrating Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines into the fifth and sixth grade educational experience resulted in high honors for Granite Mountain School (GMS) in Prescott. It is one of only eight schools in Arizona to be STEM Certified by the prestigious AdvancED International Education Accreditation organization for PreK-12 schools.
GMS also is one of only 140 schools internationally to earn that distinction.
Prescott Unified School DIstrict (PUSD) Superintendent Joe Howard praised GMS Principal Bruso and her faculty and staff. “To be unique in the state and the nation—that is taking things to a whole new level. We are all so proud of Teresa and her team for what they are doing.”
He explained that restructuring of GMS four years ago led to its current academic focus. He said a group of teachers focused highly upon STEM and GMS took that a step further by developing curriculum and seeking Advanced ED STEM accreditation.
GMS Principal Teresa Bruso only received announcement of the honor four months ago.
She explained the school was evaluated during an on-site review of 11 STEM standards on which GMS had to meet the minimum to receive certification. She said the report indicated GMS did well beyond that. Further, GMS also included another broad discipline—the arts–thus making it a STEAM school.
Bruso said currently, 565 pupils were impacted by certification—278 fifth grade and 287 sixth grade students.
She also said, “We have 10 core teachers per grade level—20 teachers—who collectively teach in teams. Each ‘team’ consists of language arts, social science, and math and science teachers. They are exceptional.”
Rebecca Horniman, PUSD marketing director, said STEM Certification provided GMS with a research-based framework and criteria for continuous improvement and assessment of STEM educational practices.
Located at 1800 N. Williamson Valley Road, GMS is among seven public schools administered by the Prescott Unified School District.