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Both the high school and middle school have STEAM labs, and the elementary school has a makerspace lab. STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics, and a makerspace lab, according to edutopia. org, provides hands-on, creative ways to encourage students to design, experiment, build and invent as they deeply engage in science, engineering and tinkering.

and develop. Renovations and changes include: • 5th grade was moved to what is called the elementary center, removing the need for modular classrooms at the middle school. • 6th, 7th and 8th grade each have their own wing in the middle school and the cafeteria was moved up a level.

The opportunities at Lehighton really are endless. There’s a fly-fishing club, drama and music programs, “encore” classes that include computer science and library science, as well as before and after school tutoring programs. Not only that, the K-2 program is almost oneto-one with iPads, and the district is working with Apple to develop curriculum programs to go along with the use of the tablets. Another notable perk for the high school students is a dual scholar’s program. “Right now, us and another school district are the only two who do [the dual scholar’s program],” Cleaver noted. “We have students who go to the [Lehigh Carbon] community college their junior and senior year of high school. They’re going to graduate with us on June 14 and then, at the end of August, they will graduate with their associate’s degree from the community college.” In recent years, Lehighton has not only developed new programs, but has also renovated all three of its schools. The process of planning to renovate the schools started back in 2008, according to Cleaver, and took years to review

• The elementary center now houses K-5 with the only shared facilities being the gym and cafeteria. • At the high school, offices were renovated and separated from the guidance area, classrooms were added and renovated, there was complete renovation of the HVAC system, in addition to electrical upgrades. • The district established secure entrances at all of its schools. All of these building projects, according to Cleaver, were done with LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED is the most widely used green building rating system in the world.

Lehighton’s programs, curriculum and renovations all come together to make a unique school district. Innovative and committed to excellence, Lehighton Area School District attributes much of the opportunities it provides to students to the Greater Lehigh Valley community. “There are so many resources out there,” said Cleaver. “We know we have Carbon County and Lehigh County, but we really look at it as the Greater Lehigh Valley. We’re a half hour from Allentown, Bethlehem, and even going north 40 to 45 minutes to the Wilkes-Barre/ Scranton area… the Valley has really kind of embraced what I call the ‘educational community.’” “We’re very fortunate,” Cleaver concluded. “I’ve been in other places and not everybody has the same feeling and the same opportunities that our kids, and really our whole community, have. [The district is a] gem of the area, for sure.” The second in a series, staff at the Greater Lehigh Valley REALTORS® will continue, in future magazine editions, to highlight school districts in Lehigh, Northampton and Carbon counties. Please note that this information is not meant to steer consumers to one school district over another, but to highlight the positive work of each and every school district in the Greater Lehigh Valley. A full list of Greater Lehigh Valley school districts, including charter schools and colleges/universities, are available at www.GreaterLehighValleyRealtors.com.

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GLVR Magazine | Summer 2019 {23}

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GLVR eMagazine Summer 2019  

GLVR eMagazine Summer 2019