D.167 OKs STEM program

2014-02-16T00:00:00Z D.167 OKs STEM programDavid P. Funk Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
February 16, 2014 12:00 am  • 

GLENWOOD | The Brookwood School District 167 School Board on Tuesday approved funding for a project that will emphasize STEM subjects, science, technology, engineering and math.

Project Lead the Way is a STEM program that utilizes problem-based learning. The board approved $43,550 in Title I grant money to begin the project in the junior high school.

The district will explore ways to expand the program to its other schools in the future, Superintendent Valorie Moore said.

"Project Lead the Way is one of the best STEM programs that is out there," Moore said. "As we move forward with our school curriculum, our junior high is very excited to have it in their building."

"It is truly a step in the right direction for our schools."

A teacher will be selected from the junior high to be trained as a STEM instructor. Other technical needs also have to be met, Moore said.

"Project Lead the Way is aligned with common core standards," Moore said. "It is a highly select and specialized curriculum. The definition of it is total rigor."

Moore said the middle school may not be able to meet the electrical needs for Project Lead the Way right now. The capabilities of Longwood and Hickory Bend elementary schools is also being investigated.

Board members Janice Barry and Carl Smith had reservations about the cost of the project. Both asked Moore if the money could be better spent in other ways.

"My only concern is we are putting aside $43,000, close to $50,000 for one program," Barry said. "We could be doing some additional after-school activities for the course of the entire school year."

Ultimately, only Barry voted against funding the program. Board Vice President John Dixon was not present at Tuesday's meeting.

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