Northwoods Fine Arts Academy with PLTW Distinguished School 2021-22

Sand Springs Public Schools (SSPS) announced today that its elementary sites have been named 2021-22 Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Distinguished Schools. Angus Valley Elementary, Garfield STEAM Academy, Limestone Technology Academy, Northwoods Fine Arts Academy, and Pratt Elementary are some of only 282 schools across the U.S. to receive this honor for providing broad access to transformative learning opportunities for students through PLTW Launch. Garfield STEAM Academy received the recognition previously for the 2019-20 school year. PLTW is a nonprofit organization that serves millions of PreK-12 students and teachers in schools across the U.S. 

“We are thrilled to receive this recognition,” said Superintendent Sherry Durkee. “Through our partnership with PLTW, our outstanding elementary educators have made STEM education opportunities more accessible to the students of our district. We are deeply grateful to PLTW for this honor and the tremendous learning opportunities provided to our students.”

The PLTW Distinguished School recognition honors schools committed to increasing student access, engagement, and achievement in their PLTW programs. To be eligible for the designation, these schools had to have at least 75 percent of the student body participating in at least one PLTW Launch module and had to offer at least one PLTW Launch module in each grade (K-5) during the 2020-21 school year. 

Studies show that students decide as early as elementary school whether they like, and think they are good at, math and science. Whether designing a car safety belt or building digital animations based on their own short stories, PLTW Launch students engage in critical and creative thinking, build teamwork skills, and develop a passion for and confidence in STEM subjects.  

“We are honored to recognize Sand Springs Public Schools for their unwavering commitment to provide students with an excellent educational experience despite the last two years having been some of the most challenging in recent history for students and educators across the U.S. due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. David Dimmett, Interim President and CEO of PLTW. “Sand Springs Public Schools should be very proud of their achievements in unlocking their students’ potential and equipping them with the knowledge and skills necessary to thrive in life beyond the classroom no matter what career path they choose.”

For more information about PLTW’s recognition program, visit