Dear Parents, Staff and Community,
Over the past year, Belton School District has been researching a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) elementary school concept. An advisory group (including parents, teachers and other community members) met throughout the summer and into October to consider and ultimately recommend this school concept as a proposal to the school board. In December the school board approved the development of this STEAM elementary school beginning the 2015-2016 school year. The school will house students, grades kindergarten-6th.
The principal for the STEAM school was selected in December and Roxanne Pearson, the current Scott Elementary Principal, was named.
After much consideration, Hillcrest Elementary has been selected as the site for the STEAM school. This school was selected for a variety of reasons. It is centrally located within the district boundaries and it has a large enrollment capacity. While the initial enrollment will be based on interest and applications from throughout the district, we anticipate three sections of each grade K 6
within the STEAM school.
Interested teachers within the district are in the process of applying for positions at the STEAM school. This process will be completed mid-February.
While a large percentage of students currently at Hillcrest will remain, K6 students from the entire district will have an opportunity to apply to attend the STEAM school at Hillcrest. The application process will begin for families March 1 and close March 31, 2015 for the upcoming school year. Specific details regarding the lottery and application process will be posted on the district website and
shared with parents in a variety of modes to include parent meetings hosted at each elementary throughout the month of February. All students outside of a one mile radius of Hillcrest will have bus transportation available if attending the STEAM school.
The STEAM school will move away from the traditional strategies of teaching and take a Project Based Learning (PBL) approach. Project Based Learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to a complex question, problem, or challenge (http://bie.org/about/what_pbl
) . This will allow teachers to
have continuous and engaging learning for students while finding solutions to real world problems.
Research shows students learn best through the integration of subject areas as opposed to learning them in isolation. The STEAM elementary school will integrate across the curriculum with a strong focus on the STEAM content areas. Students will be able to make connections between the subjects to see how everything is interrelated. For some great information on STEAM education, please visit www.steamedu.com
As you have questions, please contact Roxanne Pearson, STEAM elementary building principal, at firstname.lastname@example.org, (816)489-7040 or Dr. Sara Jones, Assistant Superintendent Pupil Services, STEAM project manager email@example.com, (816)489-7018.