Christian Brothers School has been recognized as the only middle school in Louisiana and one of 148 middle schools nationwide to be named a “Distinguished School” for its science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) program.  CBS received the honor from Project Lead The Way (PLTW), a nonprofit organization which provides STEM curricula and professional training for over 11,000 elementary, middle and high schools throughout the country, including 86 in Louisiana and 45 in the New Orleans metro area.

     Ms. Mary Arrasmith, Louisiana director for school engagement for Project Lead The Way, Inc., presented the “Distinguished School” award to CBS on the school’s City Park campus.

     “We are very excited to be recognized by Project Lead The Way as one of its Distinguished Schools,” said Joey Scaffidi, school president. “Our PLTW program has provided our students with hands-on, problem-based learning activities that develop skills our students will use in high school and beyond.”

     The PLTW Distinguished School recognition program honors schools committed to increasing student access, engagement, and achievement in their PLTW programs.  PLTW empowers students to develop in-demand, transportable knowledge and skills for the 21st Century through pathways in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science.

     Adopting a STEM-based approach to complement the school’s already strong traditional curriculum was an objective of Michael Prat, principal of the school’s City Park campus, which is an all-boys middle school.  The program is also being used at Christian Brothers Middle School for Girls on the school’s Canal Street campus.

     “We researched various suppliers of STEM curricula and selected the Project Lead The Way organization since it offered a complete approach, including hands-on components ideal for instructing middle school students,” Prat said. “We adopted the ‘Gateway’ units which are specifically designed for the middle grades and also implemented PLTW’s ‘Launch’ series for pre-Kindergarten through fourth grades.”

     Several teachers on both campuses have undergone training programs specific to the PLTW initiative, and they regularly receive additional professional development training.

     Founded in 1960, Christian Brothers School is a pre-Kindergarten through fourth co-educational elementary school and an all-girls middle school for grades five through seven on its Canal Street campus and an all-boys middle school on its City Park campus.

     Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is one of the nation's leading providers of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs for grades pre-kindergarten through 12.  PLTW's world-class, activity-, project-, and problem-based curricula and high-quality teacher professional development model helps students develop the transportable skills needed to succeed in our global economy. Courses are designed to complement math, science and computer courses offered by a school and in some instances are used as the core curriculum.

      “It is a great honor to recognize Christian Brothers School for their commitment to students,” said Vince Bertram, president and CEO of PLTW. “They are a model for what school should look like, and they should be very proud of ensuring students have the knowledge and skills to be career ready and successful on any career path they choose.”

     The PLTW Distinguished School recognition honors schools committed to increasing student access, engagement, and achievement in their PLTW programs.

PLTW - Project Lead the Way


Launch (PK4-4th grades)

Through PLTW Launch, our program for pre-kindergarten through fourth grade, students become problem solvers. Students use structured approaches, like the engineering design process, and employ critical thinking. They apply STEM knowledge, skills, and habits of mind, learning that it is OK to take risks and make mistakes. As teachers and students learn and discover together, education becomes far more engaging.  CBS wants to prepare its students for the skills and content necessary to succeed in a 21st century world.

The Launch program consists of 24 modules-four for each grade PK4-4th grade.  Each set of grade modules consists of 2 engineering modules, 1 biomedical sciences module, and 1 computer science module.

Click here for Launch brochure.

Gateway (5th - 7th grades)

Middle school is the perfect time for students to explore and learn that there is more than one way to reach a solution. PLTW Gateway provides engineering and biomedical science curriculum for middle school students that challenges, inspires, and offers schools variety and flexibility. Students get rigorous and relevant experiences through activity-, project-, and problem-based learning. They use industry-leading technology to solve problems while gaining skills in communication, collaboration, critical-thinking, and creativity.

Click here for Gateway brochure.

PLTW and The Power of Transportable Skills

PLTW is more than just project-based learning.  It's more than just what is learned this year.  It's skills that are usable in the near future and beyond.

This study, done by Burning Glass Technologies, looks at the workforce demand for five transportable skills taught to millions of students each year in PLTW.

You can view the study in the PDF contained here.

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