Trine-authorized charter schools recognized by PLTW

SOUTH BEND — Two charter schools sponsored by Education One, the charter school authorizing body for Trine University, have been recognized as Distinguished Schools by Project Lead the Way (PLTW).

Success Academy South Bend Primary School was honored as a PLTW Launch school, and Career Academy South Bend Middle School was recognized as a PLTW Gateway school. Success Academy was one of only two elementary schools in Indiana to earn the distinction, while Career Academy was one of only five middle schools in the state honored.

“Our staff and students are highly engaged in our forward-thinking approach, which includes a PLTW curriculum along with hands-on, project-based learning and technology,” said Alex Hammel, superintendent of schools. “We will continue to push the boundaries of learning by engaging every student to be a lifelong learner. “

PLTW programs inspire and engage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), equipping them with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in any career path. In addition to technical skills, students in PLTW programs learn to solve problems, think critically and creatively, communicate and collaborate.

The organization also provides teachers the training, resources and support needed to engage students in real-world learning.

The Distinguished School program honors institutions for increasing access, engagement and achievement in PLTW programs. Launch schools (K-5) offer a minimum of two PLTW modules per grade level in the school and have a minimum of two PLTW Launch Lead Teachers, with 75 percent of students or more participating in a PLTW Launch module. Gateway schools (grades 6-8) offer a minimum of one PLTW Gateway unit per grade, and have 50 percent of students or more participate in a PLTW Gateway unit, with 25 percent of students advancing to high school participating in two or more units.

Career Academy began offering PLTW in 2013 and Success Academy since it opened in 2015, and nearly all students at both schools participate in PLTW programs.

“At Career Academy South Bend a wide variety of technologies support and enhance our student learning experience,” said Andrew Sarbacker, director of digital learning. “Our staff is purposeful in planning lessons that incorporate exciting, engaging technologies that prepare students for future success. Our creative use of technology empowers students to 'own' their education and take significant steps toward their future goals.”