Kasson-Mantorville schools receive national recognition for commitment to empowering students

(ABC 6 News) – Kasson-Mantorville Elementary (KMES) and High School (KMHS) were both recognized on Monday as a 2022-23 Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Distinguished school for STEM curriculum and career readiness.

PLTW is a nonprofit organization that serves millions of PreK-12 students and teachers in over 12,000 schools across the U.S. It empowers students to develop knowledge and skills through pathways in computer science, engineering and biomedical science. PLTW students engage in critical and creative thinking, build teamwork skills, and develop a passion for and confidence in STEM subjects.

KMES is one of 492 elementary schools across the U.S. to receive the honor for providing broad access to transformative learning experiences for students through the PLTW launch. It’s the second year a row KMES has received the honor. To be eligible for the designation, KMES had to have more than 75% of the student body participating in the program and had to offer at least one PLTW Launch module at each grade level during the 2021-2022 school year.

KMHS is one of 262 high schools across the U.S. to receive the honor including the third year in a row. In order to meet the criteria in the 2022-23 school year, KMHS had to have 25% or more of students participate in PLTW courses, or of those who participated, at least 33% took two or more PLTW courses, offer and had students enrolled in at least three PLTW courses, and have strategies in place that support reasonably proportional representation with regard to race, ethnicity, poverty and/or gender.

KMHS Principal Trent Langemo said, “At KMHS, we emphasize the importance of student engagement in their learning. What I observe every time I’m in a PLTW classroom is students who are taking ownership of their learning, diving deep into the problem solving process and teachers who are truly facilitating high level learning.”

“Over the years, the leadership at Kasson-Mantorville High School has done an excellent job supporting and combining traditional Career and Technical Education classes with Engineering classes. This gives students at KM a tremendous opportunity for breadth and depth into many career fields. Along with the skills they obtain, through these classes, they can also earn college credits to help them get a head start on their college degree,” said Chris Otterness, teacher of PLTW Engineering Design/Development and PLTW Intro to Engineering Design.

For more information about PLTW’s recognition program, CLICK HERE.