NEF CyberLearning Awards National STEM Leadership Award to Warren County School District; Finds a Model QZAB Academy

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NEF Cyberlearning recognizes Warren County’s accomplishment of advancing an average student one grade level in a subject in 22 learning hours. This accomplishment was made possible by the dedication of NEF to student achievement by providing the 10% match and academy the district needed to get QZAB funds.

(L-R): SUNY professor Tony Betrus, NEF VP Art Stellar; Rhonda Decker, NEF QZAB Advisor Pat Dengel; NEF Founder & Chairman Dr. Appu Kuttan; Warren County School District STEM+ Academy Directors Jen Dil

When schools were reluctant to apply for QZAB, Dr. Kuttan, NEF Chairman, asked why. He was told districts couldn't come up with the required 10 percent match and didn't feel confident setting up the required academy. "We'll provide the 10 percent match and we'll set up the academy," he said. Kuttan said NEF plans to put six academies in six major cities. Those programs will be able to look to Beaty for advice.

Beaty is a model academy. Funding for the program at Warren and many other districts is provided in large part by the federal Qualified Zone Academy Board (QZAB) program, which is used to simultaneously improve academic facilities and curriculum programs in underprivileged school districts. See http://www.qzab.org.

The National Education Foundation (NEF), the nonprofit leader in K-12 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education, and its university partner State University of New York (SUNY), awarded the Warren County School District of Warren, PA, the 2012-2013 National STEM+ Leadership Award on Wednesday, May 29, 2013. The district received a check for $12,000, and the leaders received plaques.

At the Award ceremony, NEF Chairman Dr. Appu Kuttan stated,” NEF is concerned that US is ranked 25th out of 35 countries in math and science. We hope our STEM academies across the nation will help students of disadvantaged schools improve their STEM skills, thus enabling them to compete for jobs in the global economy.”

The award recognizes Warren County’s accomplishment of advancing an average student one grade level in a subject in 22 learning hours on the NEF’s CyberLearning Total STEM+ System Solution including individualized learning using top-rated online courses, teacher training, tech support, learning management system, teacher stipends, student awards and parent training.

By providing STEM courses, as well as courses in other essential subjects such as English language arts, social studies, SAT/ACT, IT, business and management, the “STEM+ Academy” program provides a well-rounded educational experience for students of all grade levels.

The NEF’s STEM+ Solution has been implemented in school districts across the country by SUNY in partnership with local universities. Warren’s success during the past academic year stood out as a clear example of how to effectively improve student achievement by motivating all the stakeholders—students, teachers, parents and administrators.

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Tamara Stephens
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