Westdale Heights Academic Magnet Earns 2010 Intel Elementary School of Distinction Award
- September 15, 2010
Westdale Heights Academic Magnet School (WHAM) is one of just six schools nationwide, and the only Louisiana school, to be named a winner in the 2010 Intel Schools of Distinction program.The announcement was made during a ceremony last evening, September 14, in Washington, D.C.
Every year, Intel honors U.S. schools demonstrating excellence in math and science education through innovative teaching and learning environments. To be considered as an Intel School of Distinction, schools must develop an environment and curricula that meet or exceed benchmarks put forth by national mathematics and science content standards.
WestdaleHeightsAcademicMagnet School is one of six winners selected from the 18 finalists. Intel’s education quest is to prepare tomorrow’s innovators, and the six schools honored do just that in the areas of innovative math and/or science programs. In recognition of and support for the school’s efforts, Westdale Heights Academic Magnet school won an estimated $160,000 in a combination of cash grants from the Intel Foundation and an award package including curriculum materials, professional development resources, hardware and software from program sponsors including Blackboard Collaborate, BrainwareSafari, Dell, DyKnow, I-CAN, SAS, Scantron, SMART Technologies and Tabula Digita.
To address a performance and ethnic achievement gap in science, administration and faculty at WestdaleHeightsAcademicMagnet School embarked on an improvement effort. Teachers at the school are engaging in extensive professional development related to effective science instruction and working collaboratively with the school’s science specialist. Faculty members recognize that students possess a variety of interests, learning styles, intelligences, and backgrounds.
Therefore, WHAM’s teachers present project-based learning to challenge the students in a variety of ways. Inside and outside the lab, teachers – along with the support of parents and community members – present students with real-world learning experiences that are age-appropriate, hands-on, challenging and motivating. Students work, observe and conduct investigations in the school’s Metamorphosis Children’s Garden. They help foster and track the monarch butterfly migration to and from Mexico in the school’s butterfly garden. They build models with stream tables to emulate local flooding, devise ways to prevent future problems and estimate the costs of potential solutions.
The results are perhaps best expressed by WHAM students who tell others, “Here, we do real science.” Statistics bear that out with 100 percent of third-graders, 98 percent of fourth-graders and 97 percent of fifth-graders meeting benchmarks on state assessments in 2009.
This national recognition comes on the heels of the U.S. Department of Education naming RyanElementary School as a Blue Ribbon School.
The Intel Corporation sponsors the Schools of Distinction Awards to honor schools for implementing innovative math and science programs and serving as models for other schools.The Schools of Distinction honors schools in science that provide a rich science curriculum incorporating hands-on investigative experiences that prepare students for 21st Century jobs. Programs encourage student achievement in sciences and engineering, while simultaneously helping students become knowledgeable consumers of news and data in order to be active and informed citizens.
The Intel® Education Initiative assists Intel in delivering programs that improve the effective use of technology to enhance 21st Century skills and encourage excellence in mathematics, science and engineering. For more information, visit www.intel.com/education.
Principal Brister in Washington, D.C., to Accept McKinley Middle School’s Second Blue Ribbon Award
On Tuesday, November 13, 2012, Principal Herman Brister (pictured, left) and the school’s Teacher of the Year, Lynn Williamson (right), were in Washington, D.C., accepting McKinley Middle Academic Magnet School’s National Blue Ribbon Award from U.S. Department of Education’s Director of National Blue Ribbon Schools Program Aba Kumi (center). The event, which recognized some 314 schools from across the United States, was held at the Omni Hotel. Click herefor story.
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