Two Crane District Schools Named Apple Distinguished Schools
Yuma, AZ – October 10, 2022 - Crane Middle School and Pueblo Elementary School have both been recognized as 2022-2025 Apple Distinguished Schools for their innovation and unique implementation of Apple technology in the classroom. Apple Distinguished Schools are centers of innovation, leadership, and educational excellence. They use Apple technology to inspire creativity, collaboration and critical thinking in learning, teaching and the school environment, and have documented results of academic accomplishment.
Crane Middle School, which serves approximately 600 seventh and eighth grade students, has a school vision which encompasses three pillars of learning: Innovate, Create Voice & Choice, and Elevate 21st Century Skills. As part of their INNOVATE pillar, students have been challenged to reason and solve problems in unconventional ways through project-based learning. Some examples of how students are innovating with the use of technology in the classroom include:
- Building and coding robots in Agriculture Class to analyze hydroponic water quality;
- Printing 3 Dimensional prototypes to enhance and repair BattleBots in Engineering Class;
- Designing features for the remote control (RC) car track using Apple’s Reality Composer and the AR Makr app;
- Creating marching band formations utilizing Keynote, iMovie, and GarageBand.
Teachers are encouraged to develop personal technology goals aligned to the school’s vision by participating in regular “Technology Tune-Ups”, which helps amplify voice and choice in the classroom. This also complements the learning opportunities where students can elevate their 21st Century Skills by allowing them to explore careers in various industries, prepare digital resumes, and engage in interviews with local business leaders and community members.
Crane Middle School Principal Ryan Tyree stated, “This is an honor that our entire staff accomplished. We believe the best way we can support the future is by growing a community of students who will be innovative and creative leaders who will elevate Yuma and put us on the map.”
Pueblo Elementary School Principal Bobbie Henry is also proud of the advances her school is making in technology and innovation. “Pueblo is extremely honored to be recognized as an Apple Distinguished School. It is very exciting to be recognized for how our teachers are facilitating creativity, collaboration, and real-world problem-solving with their students through the use of iPad, MacBook, and a variety of apps. The Pueblo leadership team is looking forward to the opportunities we will have to work with and learn from other Apple Distinguished Schools who share an interest in innovative learning and teaching.”
Pueblo Elementary, a PreKindergarten-6th grade school of approximately 600 students, is moving education forward at their school through their “Power Up” initiative which seeks to encourage students to collaborate globally to expand experiences and connections, and use problem-based learning to find solutions for real world problems to make the world a better place. At Pueblo, students are:
- Partnering with local agriculture professionals to learn how crops are harvested and protected;
- Exploring communities outside their own immediate circle by using FaceTime, ZOOM, and collaboration in Pages, Numbers, and Keynote across grade levels and multiple schools;
- Producing the “Panther News” program using iPad, teleprompters, and green screens, with guidance and mentorship from the local news stations.
Since implementation of the “Power Up” model, 86% of the students have expressed satisfaction with the ability to demonstrate their learning of a concept by producing something using one of the various apps made available to them. For their part, educators have enjoyed the increase in collaboration, collegiality, and self-reflection for their lessons and outcomes. Based on a survey administered to teachers in 2021, 100% of the Pueblo educators felt a sense of preparedness for teaching with technology.
Crane Middle School and Pueblo Elementary School join Mesquite Elementary School, Salida del Sol Elementary, Centennial Middle School, H.L. Suverkrup Elementary, and Gowan Science Academy as Apple Distinguished Schools within the Crane Elementary School District. Each of the recognized sites continue their use of Apple technology to connect students to the world, fuel creativity, deepen collaboration, and make learning relevant.