November 12, 2018 –Barbara Morgan and Galileo STEM academies earned National STEM School of Excellence certifications through AdvancED this month. These schools were among just four statewide taking part in the AdvancED accreditation this year in response to Idaho Code 33-4701, passed in 2017, which defines STEM school designation within the state.
“Those applying for this certification go through a rigorous and thorough audit through AdvancED. Those scoring high enough on their review earn this prestigious designation. It is genuinely a national honor and something Barbara Morgan, Galileo and West Ada should be very proud of,” boasted Barbara Morgan STEM Academy Principal Ryan Wilhite.
School administrators and stakeholders worked alongside the Idaho State Department of Education interpreting the law and establishing criteria for designating STEM schools. Galileo STEM Academy Principal Rob Lamb explained that once this group had developed standards they then determined the AdvancED STEM Certification aligned well with what the state required.
“This certification will bring clarity to our purpose, as well as additional funding to support our programs,” Lamb shared in a recent newsletter to Galileo STEM Academy families. “On November 1st and 2nd we had a review team made up of educators from as far as Tennessee evaluate whether we achieved our goal of becoming the first STEM certified school in the state of Idaho. Teachers, parents, community members and students all played a part in the process.”
Barbara Morgan and Galileo STEM academies are just two of West Ada School District’s 10 Schools of Choice campuses. There are four STEM academies and four arts academies educating primarily elementary-aged students. Idaho Fine Arts Academy and Renaissance High School serve students in secondary grade levels.