For the fifth year in a row, multiple schools in Charleston County School District (CCSD) were named Distinguished Schools by Project Lead The Way (PLTW), either as a Gateway School (middle school) or as a High School. A school earns the PLTW Distinguished School honor for its commitment to increasing student access, engagement, and achievement in its PLTW programs.
East Cooper Center for Advanced Studies (CAS) earned the PLTW Distinguished High School award for the first time.
“Being named a PLTW Distinguished High School is a huge honor and a great reflection of the hard work our administration, faculty, and students have put into the programs,” said Kevin Sneed, Lead Teacher at East Cooper CAS. “Project Lead The Way is a wonderful organization that offers rigorous and engaging content across a variety of pathways including engineering biomedical science and computer sciences. We are excited to receive this award and plan to continue providing the best education possible to our students.”
Charleston Charter School for Math and Science (CCSMS) is a Distinguished High School for the third year in a row, and the middle school program received Gateway honors for the fourth time in five years (and third in a row). Once again, CCSMS is one of just a few schools in the nation to receive multiple honors from PLTW in the same school year.
“Our teachers are especially proud of these recognitions as they represent the work done to ensure our PLTW courses continued to help our high school scholars stay focused on their academic and career goals during the pandemic,” said CCSMS executive principal and CEO, Mary Carmichael. “Many of our scholars go on to pursue degrees in engineering and medical-related fields, and we know the PLTW courses provide knowledge along with the belief that they can do collegelevel work in STEM courses.”
James Island Charter High School (JICHS) is a Distinguished High School for the second year in a row and third time overall.
This recognition program started in the 2017-2018 school year. Four CCSD schools picked up a PLTW honor in the inaugural year, followed by three in 2018-2019, five for the 2019-2020 school year, and six last year.
CCSMS is one of just two middle school programs in South Carolina to earn Gateway status for the 2021-22 school year.
CCSMS, East Cooper CAS, and James Island Charter are three of the five high schools in the state to pick up a PLTW Distinguished School award this year.
East Cooper CAS will be offering all 17 PLTW courses next school year (the only school in the country to do that). Those courses are: Aerospace Engineering, Biomedical Innovations, Civil Engineering and Architecture, Computer Integrated Manufacturing, Computer Science A, Computer Science Essentials, Computer Science Principles, Cybersecurity, Digital Electronics, Engineer Design and Development, Engineering Essentials, Environmental Sustainability, Human Body Systems, Intro to Engineering Design, Medical Interventions, Principles of Biomedical Sciences, and Principles of Engineering.
Approximately 90 percent of the East Cooper CAS students in PLTW courses earned dual credit by scoring “Accomplished” or “Distinguished” on their End-ofCourse exams.
CCSMS is going into its 15th year of offering PLTW courses. At the high school level, scholars at Charleston Charter are able to take Principles of Engineering, Civil Engineering and Architecture, Intro to Engineering Design, Aerospace Engineering, Digital Electronics, Principles of Biomedical Science, Human Body Systems, Medical Interventions, and Biomedical Innovations. Middle school students had the opportunity to take Medical Detectives, Automation and Robotics, Design and Modeling, Green Architecture, Energy and the Environment, Magic of Electrons, and Science of Technology.
James Island Charter offers the following four courses from the PLTW Engineering Program: Introduction to Engineering Design, Principles of Engineering, Digital Electronics, and Civil Engineering and Architecture.
“We are honored to receive the Project Lead the Way Distinguished School award,” said JICHS PLTW Instructor Dan Krysty. “We look forward to critically thinking and problem-solving in all PLTW programs in the future to continue our tradition of excellence.”
PLTW is a non-profit organization that serves millions of K-12 students and teachers in approximately 12,200 schools and 15,000 programs across the United States. The organization’s recognition program honors schools that are committed to increasing student access, engagement, and achievement in their PLTW programs. Schools that are recognized for this honor empower their students to thrive in an evolving world and have achieved exemplary results from their PLTW programs.
For more information about the PLTW in CCSD, contact the district’s Executive Director of Career and Technology Education, Rich Gordon, at [email protected].
About the Charleston County School District
Charleston County School District (CCSD) is a nationally accredited school district committed to providing equitable and quality educational opportunities for all of its students. CCSD is the second-largest school system in South Carolina and represents a unique blend of urban, suburban, and rural schools spanning 1,300 square miles along the coast. CCSD serves approximately 49,000 students in 88 schools and specialized programs.
CCSD offers a diverse, expanding portfolio of options and specialized programs, delivered through neighborhood, magnet, IB (international baccalaureate), Montessori, and charter schools. Options include programs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM); music and other creative and performing arts; career and technical preparation programs; and military.