Efforts are under way to rebrand Oliver Springs High School as Oliver Springs STEAM Academy, the Oliver Springs Alumni Education Foundation announced Tuesday.
STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) has become increasingly popular as an educational approach in school systems across the nation, a press release said.
“Using these subjects as an access point allows students to view real-world problems in a more critical yet broader scope,” the press release said.
“Oliver Springs High School has been ahead of the curve in state academics quite often,” said Oliver Springs High School Principal Justin Nivens. “We had the first robotics team in Tennessee and won a national championship in 2001. Innovation has been a common thread in an Oliver Springs High School education, and we’re just taking it to the next level.”
In the spring, the school will be evaluated during a walkthrough by a Tennessee STEM Innovation Network (TSIN) representative, the press release said. The organization will evaluate Oliver Springs’ schedules, collaborative spaces, student assessment techniques, and more. Designated schools will be announced in May.
The Alumni Foundation has been working rigorously with the school, making improvements and offering technological advancement when possible, the release said. During the 2017-2018 school year, the foundation raised $150,000 to work on projects at the school, including a new virtual reality lab space and training for Oliver Springs teachers.
Additionally, a $5,000 grant created a STEAM-ready classroom. Most recently, the Alumni Foundation purchased 150 Chromebooks for students in grades 6 through 12.
“Last year, our TVAAS score was a Level 5,” Nivens said. “That’s the highest score a school can achieve, and we couldn’t be prouder that our efforts to create an exceptional learning environment were recognized at the state level.”
The Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System (TVAAS) measures student growth and academic progress over the course of a year. Various things are measured, including literacy and social studies growth. Oliver Springs High School achieved 4s and 5s across the board, resulting in an overall 5, the press release said.
“We strive to be a modern school, with a flexible yet rigorous schedule,” Nivens said. “We prepare our students for the next step in their academic or trade journey by offering dual enrollment—or what we call middle college—and actual work-based learning, including apprenticeships. This gives our students access to a quality college and workplace setting. We aren’t just teaching our kids academics. We’re teaching them how to thrive in the world beyond the walls of this school, and that’s more valuable than anything they’ll learn in a textbook.”
About Oliver Springs High School
Oliver Springs High School is located at 419 Kingston Avenue in Oliver Springs. In addition to STEAM endeavors, the school offers a wide assortment of athletics, clubs, and other enrichment activities, the press release said. The school was founded in 1926. Justin Nivens is principal of Oliver Springs High School, and Mary Nipper is assistant principal. For more information, visit https://oshs.roaneschools.com/.
About Oliver Springs Alumni Education Foundation
The Oliver Springs Alumni Education Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization working toward enriching the academic opportunities of students in Oliver Springs schools in Roane County. For more information or to make a donation to the foundation, visit http://osalumni.com/.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
Most news stories on Oak Ridge Today are free, brought to you by Oak Ridge Today with help from our advertisers, contributors, and subscribers. This is a free story. Thank you to our advertisers, contributors, and subscribers. You can see what we cover here.
Do you appreciate this story or our work in general? If so, please consider a monthly subscription to Oak Ridge Today. See our Subscribe page here. Thank you for reading Oak Ridge Today.
Copyright 2018 Oak Ridge Today. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.