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Cool Schools: Pierre Moran Middle School advancing classroom learning

For most of us, you never saw Chrome books or iPads on your desk in the classroom.

But for the students at Pierre Moran Middle School, they will be using them every day.

“Our ultimate goal is to develop a learning environment that further develops their thinking,” said Cynthia Lopez-Bonner, principal of the school.

The Indiana Department of Education awarded a $1.1 million School Improvement Grant (SIG) to Pierre Moran. 

“We really were thinking what is it that we can do what direction we want to head in as a school,” said Principal Bonner.

The path that they’re taking is moving towards a STEAM curriculum, which focuses on science, technology, engineering, art and math.

“I think its real life skills its 21st century skills for the students,” said Principal Bonner.

But it will take a while to get there. For now, they’re starting to introduce technology in classes. So far, the students seem to love it.

“I like it because now it’s more advanced and now we have more things to do because we’re so used to being on our phones tablets and computers,” said Erin Byers, an 8th grader at Pierre Moran.

Teachers are also on board.

“They’re much more excited about things because before it was kind of boring to them because it wasn’t connecting to anything they had an interest in,” said Heather Clear, a 7th grade math teacher.

A unique partnership with Notre Dame’s College of Engineering will also be used with the grant money.

“They will be coming in to model for our teachers and training our classroom teachers,” said Principal Bonner.

Improving their curriculum isn’t the only reason why they’re “cool”. Principal Bonner says, it’s the students.

“I taught here for fifteen years prior to becoming an administrator and you develop some really deep bonds with the students,” Principal Bonner said.

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