TOWSON, MD – After a thorough review by the Maryland State Department of Education, the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) engineering programs at Parkville, Pikesville, and Woodlawn high schools have retained their full certification status from MSDE for the next five years.
With this status, students at the three schools who successfully complete the engineering five-course sequence and earn a six or higher on the end-of-course assessments may be eligible for credit at a variety of colleges and universities around the country.
“This recertification confirms the strength of the Project Lead the Way programs at Parkville, Pikesville, and Woodlawn high schools,” said Dr. Michael Grubbs, BCPS coordinator of Career and Technical Education. “We appreciate the talented and dedicated administrators and teachers at these schools for implementing the program with such fidelity, and the PLTW students for their commitment to academic excellence. The possible eligibility for college credits is a tremendous and valuable bonus for students already well on their way toward higher education and career success.”
The full certification status was bestowed following a two-part review. First, the schools compiled and submitted data to MSDE including:
- Student performance data on the PLTW end-of-course assessments from the last three years
- Enrollment and completion data from the last three years
- Evidence of an active and involved partnership team
- School self-assessment document
Then, in spring 2019, the MSDE Manufacturing Engineering Technology Cluster Team in partnership with the University of Maryland, Baltimore County conducted three PLTW Program Fidelity visits. Preparing for the visit provides schools an opportunity to identify any technical assistance needs and resolve any concerns.
“The preparation process was no small undertaking,” said Robin Bowden, supervisor of Technology Education. “School teams spent months leading up to their visits gathering, analyzing, and evaluating their data. However time-intensive the self-assessment may have been, these programs are better for having been through it, and are poised to move their programs forward with transparency. As a result of these efforts, one area of continued focus for our office and all of our schools will be the recruitment of female students. We want our engineering programs to reflect the Team BCPS commitment to quality education for all and equity in opportunities.”
The 3-hour PLTW Program Fidelity visit focuses primarily on interviewing the department chair, PLTW faculty, administrators, school counselors, parents, and partnership team members, as well as reviewing equipment and samples of student work.