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Middle Schools Receive Distinguished Schools Designation

News Release                                                     

For Immediate Release                                                                   

March 7, 2019

Middle Schools Receive Distinguished Schools Designation

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – Elroy Schroeder Middle School, Nathan Twining Elementary and Middle School, South Middle School, and Valley Middle School have each been recognized as a 2018-2019 Distinguished School by the Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Gateway program.

The PLTW Distinguished School recognition honors schools committed to increasing student access, engagement, and achievement in their PLTW programs. To be eligible for the designation, each school had to meet the following criteria during the 2017-2018 school year:

  • Offer at least one PLTW Gateway unit at each grade level;
  • Have at least 50 percent of the student body participating;
  • Have 25 percent of students advancing to high school participate in two or more units during their middle school tenure.

Through PLTW programs, students develop STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) knowledge as well as in-demand, transportable skills that they will use both in school and for the rest of their lives, on any career path they take. PLTW Gateway empowers students to lead their own discovery and uncover a range of paths and possibilities they can look forward to in high school and beyond.

The four middle schools in Grand Forks are the only PLTW Distinguished Schools in North Dakota this school year and are four of 148 middle schools across the United States to receive this distinction.

“My appreciation towards our middle school instructors in delivering the PLTW curriculum and to the building and district administration for supporting the program,” said Eric Ripley, Executive Director of Career and Technical Education. “PLTW is the gold standard for STEM-based education in the nation, and every one of our middle school students completes PLTW curriculum in Engineering, Design, Robotics, and Computer Science, which provides them with a solid foundation of skills and experiences to build upon.”

PLTW is a nonprofit organization that serves millions of Pre K-12 students and teachers in schools across the nation. Approximately 11,500 elementary, middle, and high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia offer PLTW programs. For more information on Project Lead The Way, visit