Deadline approaching for new STEAM school enrollment

Background left: the clocktower of the original North Elementary School can be seen. Construction began on the new school (foreground) in March 2016 where the previous athletic field and playgrounds were located. Construction is expected to be completed by August 2017 in time for the new school year, Cedar City, Utah, Feb. 6, 2017 | Photo by Paul Dail, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — Anyone who regularly drives down 200 North in Cedar City has witnessed the progress of the new Cedar North Elementary School building. As construction of this state-of-the-art science, technology, engineering, arts and math – or STEAM – school nears completion, open enrollment is being held for the 2017-18 school year, with a deadline of Feb. 20.

Groundbreaking on the new elementary school started in March 2016. The previous school had been built in 1955 and was facing some structural issues and utilities issues, including heating and cooling problems and complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Read more: New Cedar North Elementary breaks ground one week early

The new building will remedy those issues and bring the school up to speed to match its partnership with Southern Utah University. The school is expected to be completed in August 2017 in time for the new school year, and they are looking for the next generation of scientists, engineers and inventors to fill the halls of the new building.

North Elementary became Iron County’s first and only STEAM elementary school in 2013 and has a unique partnership with Southern Utah University, forming bonds between current and preservice teachers, as well as building a one of a kind STEAM curriculum.

The incorporation of the arts in the STEM setting – ergo, the STEAM – is relatively new. In an article from Education Week Teacher, artist and educator Ruth Catchen said she believes utilizing art offers more diverse learning opportunities and greater success in traditional STEM classes for all types of learners.

Cedar North Elementary School artist rendering, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Iron County School District, St. George News / Cedar City News

However, the other classes are integral as well. The focus on STEM education was introduced to fill the gap both public and private sectors were reporting they were seeing in graduates’ education.

Along these lines, exclusive to the new North Elementary School building are two science labs where students can gain experience to excel in the ever-changing world. After school science clubs, extensive curriculum integration, robotics classes, an emphasis on coding during computer time, in-school science activities and a school garden are just some of the many ways the school strives to cultivate ingenuity and inquiry among their students.

In addition, the new facility will provide Southern Utah University with preservice teaching labs where curriculum can be researched and developed onsite with veteran university educators.

Ray Whittier, principal at North Elementary, expressed excitement about the school’s future.

With support from our district and SUU, North Elementary is quickly gaining notoriety around the state as a place where kids can learn about STEAM subjects in a way that’s exciting and engaging,” Whittier said in a press statement. “I hope parents will come see what we have to offer!”

Cedar North Elementary is currently enrolling for the 2017-18 school year. Open enrollment applications are due to the Iron County School District Office by Feb. 20. For more information on open enrollment or an application go the school district online handbook.

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.


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