Crane Country Day School has forged a Public-Private Partnership with Dos Pueblos High School’s Engineering Academy (DPEA). “This is probably the most exciting project in Crane’s history,” said Crane’s School Head Joel Weiss. This collaboration between the two schools begins with the 2015-2016 academic school year, allowing each school to benefit from the other’s strengths. The Engineering Academy will utilize Crane School’s personnel resources and will have the opportunity to expose younger students to the merits of a STEAM education. Crane School will draw on the expertise of the DPEA to expand on their 88-year tradition of innovative curriculum.
“We at Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy are very excited to partner with Crane School on this important initiative to bring project-based STEAM education to the elementary school level. We are just now completing our first year of full expansion of the DPEA to 400 students and the Crane partnership will accelerate our efforts to reach out to elementary schools by several years,” commented Amir Abo-Shaeer, Director of the DPEA.
The partnership was recently formalized, after months of discussion between Joel Weiss, Crane School Head, Tom Kenny, Crane Board President, Amir Abo-Shaeer, DPEA Director and Gary Simpson, DPEA Operations Manager.
“The folks at Dos Pueblos have been so generous with their time and I believe we have come up with a powerful partnership. I’ve visited a lot of high schools and DP’s Engineering Academy is absolutely amazing! They are a leader in project-based learning and their emphasis on problem solving, decision-making, investigative skills, and reflection ties in beautifully with Crane’s balance of academic rigor and creative expression. I have no doubt that this effort will unlock many doors for both schools,” said Joel Weiss.
Crane is currently in the late planning stages of a 6,700 square foot building project called the Oak Tree Quad, comprised of new Upper School classrooms (serving grades 6 -8), administrative offices and a large makers space dedicated to engineering, robotics and design: a logical expansion of Crane’s tradition of experiential education.
Beginning September 2015, Crane will hire two positions, a Director of Engineering and an Engineering teaching intern, who will train for a full year at the DPEA, thus bringing their knowledge and expertise to Crane when the school opens the Oak Tree Quad facility in September 2016. The newly hired Crane faculty will help Amir Abo-Shaeer and DPEA teachers for a portion of their time in order to free up DPEA resources to help Crane develop curriculum and design and equip the new Crane facility.
“This is the ultimate professional development. Our two teachers will be trained by the esteemed educators at DP in anticipation of an elementary and middle school engineering and design program opening fall 2016,” explains Weiss. “DPEA will provide instruction and guidance on developing an age-appropriate engineering curriculum for Crane students, in addition to helping Crane design and equip its new engineering facility.”
The hope is that the broader community will benefit as well, as this private-public partnership can serve as a model for the development and implementation of an effective engineering program for an elementary school population.
“The partnership has so many positive attributes,” says Tom Kenny, Crane Board President. “Educators from both school communities are working together to create an unparalleled, high quality program that can potentially benefit more students in the community.”
Crane Country Day is a K-8 independent school dedicated to experiential education. The school’s curriculum balances rigorous academics with joyful learning. For more information or to schedule a tour, please contact Erin Guerra, director of admission, at 805-969-7732, ext. 106 or visit www.craneschool.org.