Photo Caption: L to R: APS Superintendent Meria Carstarphen, Drew Charter Head of Schools Don Doran, Drew Elementary Academy Principal Monishae O’Neill, State Schools Superintendent Richard Woods and Drew Elementary Academy students
Charles R. Drew Charter School Elementary Academy has been certified as an official Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) School by the Georgia Department of Education. Drew Charter School is the first school in Atlanta Public Schools and the second school in the state of Georgia to earn this important designation, which was recently created to recognize institutions committed to providing high-quality educational opportunities in STEAM.
State Schools Superintendent Richard Woods and Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Meria Carstarphen attended a special ceremony with Drew Charter Head of Schools Don Doran, Drew students, employees and parents on April 20 to officially present the new certification.
“Our team came and observed what was happening at Drew Elementary,” said Superintendent Woods. “We saw that a variety of enrichment classes such as dance, visual arts, robotics engineering design are available to all students, and there are opportunities to evaluate the arts in a variety of settings. Drew also collaborates with STEAM-focused institutions and industries including Georgia State, in which professional musicians come and work on compositions that directly relate to core content. You have dedicated teachers, family and community involvement where students are exposed to many different STEAM careers that will one day inspire the next generations of engineers, artists, doctors, entrepreneurs and innovators.”
“It’s never too early to start thinking about college and a potential career,” said Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Meria Carstarphen “We need scientists, we need people who are going to be computer programmers, we need engineers, we need artists, and we need mathematicians. Explore and tinker, and really start thinking about your futures in STEAM.”
Drew’s Elementary Academy received the “whole school” designation, which certifies that the entire student population is engaged in STEAM learning and confirms Drew’s position as a statewide leader in innovative education. This designation was awarded to the school following a visit that included a meeting and presentation with the leadership team, classroom observations, interviews with students and business partners, and reviews of student work and other documentation.