NEWS RELEASES 2014-15 :: NOVEMBER 5, 2015


The North Carolina State Board of Education today recognized seven public schools for exemplary leadership and instruction in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education. These schools were the second set of schools to be recognized under the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction’s (NCDPI) STEM Recognition Program.

“Focusing on STEM is how schools are preparing students for careers in the fields that help sustain today’s economy,” said State Superintendent June Atkinson. “I commend these schools for their commitment to ensuring that our graduates finish school with a solid foundation on which they can strengthen and expand the many unique skills demanded in STEM professions.”

The STEM Recognition Program was developed by NCDPI in partnership with representatives from schools, business and industry, and postsecondary institutions as a way to identify and recognize exemplary STEM schools and STEM programs. The application process rubric is built around NCDPI’s STEM Attributes, which describe characteristics of a high quality STEM school.

Schools were either recognized as meeting the Prepared Level of Achievement or the Model Level of Achievement. Regardless of the status, all of the schools exemplify outstanding leadership and learning, which empower keen creative thinking, reasoning and teamwork – the underpinnings of 21st century skills. Schools recognized under the Model Level of Achievement go even further by systemically interweaving science, technology, engineering and mathematics into complementary arts, Career and Technical Education, English language arts, and World History courses.

Three schools met the Prepared Level of Achievement:

  • James Kenan Jr. Sr. High School, Duplin County  Schools
  • Riverside Middle School, Martin County Schools
  • East Cary Middle School, Wake County Schools

Four schools met the Model Level of Achievement:

  • Greene Central High School, Greene County Schools
  • Wake STEM Early College High School, Wake County Schools
  • Brentwood Magnet Elementary School of Engineering, Wake County Schools
  • Atkins Academic and Technology High School, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools

Overall, 20 applications were submitted for possible recognition. Schools pursuing recognition underwent a rigorous application process that required:

  • detailed responses and evidences addressing each of the 11 attributes of quality STEM education and over 40 key elements that define the quality characteristics rooted within the attributes;
  • a self-assessment of their school aligning to the Attribute Implementation rubric; and
  • identification of one best practice of educational excellence.

To receive this honor, schools underwent a rigorous application process that required detailed responses covering 40 key elements: examples of strategic class documents and video; a self-assessment; identification of the school’s best practice of educational excellence; and a site visit from reviewers.

In addition to being honored by the State Board of Education, the schools will be recognized on the Department’s STEM web page and the NCSTEM Center Portal. Schools also will receive a specially designed STEM School of Distinction banner provided by NC Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Center.

For more information on the NCDPI STEM Recognition Program, please visit NCDPI’s STEM web page.