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Crane Elementary School District in the News- Yuma, Arizona

Welcome to Crane Elementary School District in Yuma, Arizona! As a High Performing K-8 School District, we are committed to delivering quality education and fostering excellence in our students. Dive into our recent news and achievements to see how we're shaping the future of education.


Big changes heading to Pueblo in the upcoming school year - 13 On Your Side's Vanessa Gongora spoke with the principal about how expanding the school will benefit students- March 23, 2023


Crane Elementary School District to expand Pueblo Elementary by adding 7th and 8th grade


A new security system in place at Crane Schools allows for them to go into immediate lockdown, along with letting police know about potential threats - 13 On Your Side's Luis Lopez reports


How Crane Elementary School District is keeping its students safe


Crane School District Celebrates A+ Prestigious Award


Pueblo Elementary joins Gowan Science Academy as a recipient of the annual award

September 20, 2021

Rosie Peña, Community Relations Coordinator (928) 580-4748 | [email protected]


Three Schools in Crane District Named Apple Distinguished Schools

Yuma, AZ – September 20, 2021 – Centennial Middle School, Mesquite Elementary School, and Salida del Sol Elementary School have been recognized as 2021-2022 Apple Distinguished Schools for their innovation and unique implementation of Apple technology. Apple Distinguished Schools are centers of innovation, leadership, and educational excellence.


Crane District Superintendent Laurie Doering and Assistant Superintendent Dr. Mike Hoffman are proud of this distinction as it aligns with the district’s mission of growing a community of curious change-makers through innovative problem-solving. “As district leaders, we couldn’t be more proud of our continuing and new Apple Distinguished Schools for being exemplary at bringing this vision into a dynamic reality. Schools leverage technology to servediverse needs and aspirations – from challenge-based learning that impacts our community to individual pathways for academic success.”


The selection of Mesquite Elementary, Salida del Sol Elementary, and Centennial Middle School highlights thedistrict’s success in creating an innovative and compelling learning environment that engages students and provides tangible evidence of academic achievement. Each school utilizes Apple technology using methods that are creative and easily accessible to students.


Centennial Middle School, established in 1999 to serve approximately 700 students in 7th and 8th grade, implements a Maker Space mindset. Pioneering in Apple ConnectEd, the Apple ecosystem allows Centennial to revolutionize their instructional methodology in creating high expectations for their students. They are able to provide students with pathways of entrepreneurship by fostering challenge-based learning to stimulate critical thinking and allow students to use technology to communicate their vision and goals to connect with their local, regional, and globalcommunities.

Mesquite Elementary School a Pre-Kindergarten through 6th grade school which opened its doors in 2007,encourages communication and collaboration at its site of nearly 600 students. With iPads issued by the district 1:1, Mesquite students create and record living timelines, book reviews, and science presentations using apps such as Clips, Book Creator, Apple Books, and iMovie. Coding is used as a means of project and challenge-based learning by providing students with the opportunity to create their own application “app” prototype, such as the Mesquite App theyproduced.


Salida del Sol Elementary a previous recipient of the Apple Distinguished School honor, first opened its doors in2004, educating more than 650 students in Pre-Kindergarten through 6th grade this year. Salida del Sol students utilize the technology at their disposal to make meaningful global connections and discuss cultural differences with students in other classes. They explore a variety of professions to create forward-thinking students who visualize a professional future. They also analyze problems and design solutions like the “Astrosocks” scenario issued by NASA in a project for students participating in the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program. With Appledevices, the students can also partner and engage with other agencies besides NASA, such as the Arizona Science Center.


Each of the recognized sites is looking forward to continuing their use of Apple technology to connect students to the world, fuel creativity, deepen collaboration, and make learning personal.



YUMA, AZ, Aug. 21, 2020 – Gary A. Knox Elementary School, part of of the Crane Elementary School District – has been awarded the Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) grant to fund after-schoolenrichment and targeted learning programs. This is their first time receiving the long-standing grant. Valley Horizon Elementary – a previous grantee - has been awarded a 1-year extension to fund their existing after-school programs for the 2020-2021 school year.


The Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers Grant – authorized under Title IV, Part B of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) – focuses on providing assistance to school sites in establishing on-site learning centers, funded over a maximum of five years per grant period. With 21st CCLC grant resources, school sites can provide students with safe on-site school learning opportunities that emphasize standards-based academic enrichment in reading and math, as well as a variety of other educational topics. A hallmark of the program is that family engagement is essential in promoting student achievement; the families of program students are encouraged, invited, and provided with various occasions throughout the year to engage in student activities.


Crane Schools provide their students with multiple avenues to explore STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts,and Math) concepts, and the structure of the 21st CCLC Program is tailored to align with Crane goals and priorities outside of the instructional day. Classes and activities are created to help students become proficient in core curriculum concepts and to connect with the real-world through challenge-based learning experiences.

The Gary A. Knox Elementary staff is looking forward to being able to provide students with engaging after-school and summer activities such as coding, movie-making, cooking, and gardening, which will complement their existent “Garden of Learning” program, a joint agricultural and health education initiative with JV Smith Companies of Yuma, Arizona.


According to Principal Laura Hurt, “We have longed for a comprehensive after-school program for our kids and therefore, I’m thrilled that we will have the opportunity to implement the 21st CCLC program. It will be exciting and beneficial for our students to be able to participate in quality after-school activities.” Crane Assistant Superintendent Dr. Mike Hoffman echoed Mrs. Hurt’s sentiments. “The 21st CCLC program will enhance and amplify all the wonderful things already happening at Knox.”


Valley Horizon Elementary School Principal Ana Noriega is pleased to have received an additional year of funding for her school because she has seen firsthand how her students benefit from the classes such as coding, FIRST LEGO League, and arts and crafts. “The 21st Century Program at Valley Horizon has been key in extending our school day to enrich student learning through innovative, challenged-based projects that focus on the foundations of a STEAM and disguised-learning curriculum.”


Per the Crane Mitigation Plan: “Each school will determine the ability to hold any type of extra-curricular grant-related activity while following CDC guidelines and grant and district protocols to maintain the health and safety of all.” The Crane Mitigation Plan is available at www.craneschools.org/Fall20201.aspx.