Joe Lee Johnson Elementary STEAM Academy and Round Rock and McNeil high schools were named Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Distinguished Schools for the 2018 – 2019 school year.

This year, only 14 elementary schools were recognized, and nine high schools received this distinction in the state of Texas. Both McNeil and Joe Lee Johnson have a history of earning achievements for their efforts in the PLTW program. This is the third consecutive year that McNeil has earned the distinction and the second for Joe Lee Johnson.

“The staff and students of Joe Lee Johnson Elementary STEAM Academy, Round Rock, and McNeil high schools are dedicated to embodying our commitment to serving the whole student and developing their ability to problem solve and find unique solutions that can be applied in a real-world environment,” Superintendent Steve Flores, Ph.D. said. “This recognition is a result of the hard work of their students and staff and shows each day in the teaching and learning that takes place in classrooms.”

The PLTW Distinguished School program is designed to honor campuses that have displayed proven commitment to increasing student access, engagement, and achievement to PLTW programs. According to the organization, these campuses empower students to thrive in an evolving world and have achieved exemplary results from their PLTW programs.

To be eligible for the designation, Joe Lee Johnson had to offer at least two PLTW Launch modules at each grade level and have more than 75 percent of the student body participating during the 2017-18 school year. Round Rock and McNeil were assessed under a different set of criteria which included:

  • Offer at least three PLTW courses;
  • Have 25 percent of students or more participate in PLTW courses, or of those who participated in PLTW, at least 33 percent took two or more PLTW courses during their high school tenure;
  • Have 70 percent of students or more earn a Proficient or higher on PLTW End-of-Course Assessments, or 10 percent of students earn the AP + PLTW Student Achievement.

“It is a great honor to recognize Joe Lee Johnson STEAM Academy, McNeil High School and Round Rock High 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.”