green circle with PLTW Launch Distinguished School 2020-21

Blackmore, Grandview, and Skelly elementary schools have been recognized as 2020-21 Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Distinguished Schools. They are three of just 310 schools across the U.S. to receive this honor for providing broad access to transformative learning opportunities for students through PLTW Launch. PLTW is a nonprofit organization that serves millions of PreK-12 students and teachers in schools across the U.S.

"It is an honor to earn this recognition for the second  year in a row for our three elementary schools, especially during this challenging pandemic year," Julie Jensen, Executive Director of
Curriculum said. "This award reflects highly upon the community we live in, our staff, and the students who attend our schools."

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 have more than 75 percent of the student body participating in the program and had to offer at least two PLTW Launch modules at each grade level during the
2019-20 school year.

Studies show that students decide as early as elementary school whether they like, and think they are good at, math and science. Whether designing a car safety belt or building digital
animations based on their own short stories, PLTW Launch students engage in critical and creative thinking, build teamwork skills, and develop a passion for and confidence in STEM subjects.

“It is a great honor to recognize the USD 490 elementary schools for their unwavering
commitment to provide students with an excellent educational experience despite the unusual circumstances and unique challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic presented to the educational landscape this past year,” said Dr. Vince Bertram, President and CEO of PLTW. “They should be very proud of their achievements in unlocking their students’ potential and equipping them with the knowledge and skills necessary to thrive in life beyond the classroom no matter what career path they choose.”

Blackmore, Grandview, and Skelly are part of a community of PreK-12 schools, colleges and universities, and corporate and philanthropic partners across the country united around a passion for providing students with inspiring, engaging, and empowering learning
opportunities. For more information about PLTW’s recognition program, visit